Blairsville, Ga – Missing 5-year-old autistic child found by neighbor and deputy at 7:07 p.m. in a wooded area near Hwy. 180.
“A nearby neighbor and Deputy Josh Bridges found Brett in a wooded area near the house almost simultaneously,” stated Deputy Daren Osborne, “Once found, he was taken to be examined by medical services and his parents were notified.”
Union County Sheriff’s Office led an exhaustive search for the little boy, who wandered away from home sometime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Brett was last seen asleep in his bed by his father when he left for work. The boy’s mother went to look in on Brett at 11 a.m., and the child had disappeared.
Brett normally sleeps for two hours at a time and then wakes up because autistic children commonly experience chronic sleep problems.
The parents conducted a search of their own before calling the authorities at 1:18 p.m. Upon arrival, Deputies thoroughly searched the house. After, they set up a command center on Hwy. 180 and started canvassing the surrounding area.
The Sheriff’s Office also contacted A Child Missing Foundation immediately after the report came in, and the organization started calling neighbors to ask if they had seen Brett and to search around their homes.
Union County School Board alerted the community with a robocall.
“People also called wanting to volunteer, but we wanted our specialized units to have the first look through the area,” said Osborne.
K-9 Units from Union County Schools Police Department and Woodstock Police Department explored the area. The dogs did hit a track close to a pond. Towns County and Georgia State Patrol (GSP) dive teams were then called, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) lent their sonar unit to check the pond.
Ground search teams included Union County Fire and Rescue, Union County EMA, Blairsville Police Department, Union County EMS, GSP, GDNR, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, GEMA, Woodstock Police Department, Union County High School Police Department, Towns County EMA, and a few volunteers.
GSP also furnished air support with their air patrol helicopter.
“We want to thank everybody that came and assisted with the search. Everyone knew exactly what to do and were very professional during the entire search. We greatly appreciate all the help,” expressed Osborne.
No foul play is suspected in this case just a scary incident for the family and the community. The parents will not be charged with anything.