A young Virginia boy who suffers from autism has been reunited with his family, nearly six days after he wandered away from them while they were hiking in a wooded park north of Richmond, Virginia, reports The _Huffington Post_.
Hanover County Sheriff David Hines said that Robert Wood Jr. was found in a creek bed near a quarry–about a mile from North Anna Battlefield Park where he disappeared while on a walk with his family on Sunday, October 23rd–curled up in the fetal position around two p.m. on Friday. Young Robert was dehydrated and suffered from a few bruises, scratches and bug bites, but was in good condition. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Wood was the focus of an intense search involving thousands of volunteers, local law enforcement and search-and-rescue teams.
What Went Right?**
I believe that the primary thing that saved this young lad was the outpouring of community support and volunteer work to find this little boy. To have more than a thousand people show up each day, for several days, to look for one person is a truly encouraging sign that there are decent people out there willing to help others.
Virginia State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar said that search-and-rescue crews maintained a positive outlook even as the days passed without finding the boy. Volunteers kept returning day after day to continue searching. So many people volunteered in fact, that some had to be turned away.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for thirteen years and I’ve not seen a community response as large as this,” Molnar said.
It is also worth noting that the boy would most likely have died of hypothermia had he not been found on Friday. The region’s temperature plummeted to the low thirties, with steady rain and sleet on Saturday.
Congratulations to the law enforcement professionals, SAR crews and all the volunteers for your success in finding Robert. Our hats are off to you.