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CodeRED: boy found in less than one hour

March 9, 2010

It wasn’t the first time the young autistic boy wandered off from home. But it was the first time he had left his home while the temperature was a bone-chilling 10 degrees. “It was extremely cold and he wasn’t dressed for cold weather,” says Bonneville County, Idaho dispatcher supervisor Andi Anderson.

Bonneville County police used CodeRED to place more than 29,000 phone calls to residents in the area where the young child lived. The message gave details about the missing ten-year-old boy and asked people to call police if they had information about his whereabouts. “We were not only concerned about the cold temperatures. The boy was on medication that made him drowsy, he could have easily fallen asleep in the cold. We knew that we were in a race against time,” said Anderson.

One of the people who received the message, delivered to his cell phone, was on his way home from work. Moments after getting the call he spotted the boy walking down a street and immediately contacted police. “Less than an hour after we launched the CodeRED campaign a man who got the message called and told us he had seen the boy. We asked him to stay with the boy until police arrived,” Anderson said.

Thanks to police, CodeRED and the man who received the message, the boy was safely returned to his family.

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