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Missing autistic boy found; expected to be OK

Crews worked nonstop to find an 8-year-old boy with autism who went missing in the San Bernardino Mountains.
September 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An 8-year-old boy with severe autism who was missing in the San Bernardino Mountains has been found, officials said on Tuesday.

The boy was dehydrated and tired, but in good shape, authorities said. He was airlifted to a hospital and was later released.

"He looks tired, he's a little scratched up, but he looks strong and healthy as ever" said Ron Robb, the boy's father. "He's just tired, a bit confused. He kept saying, 'I want to go home. I want to go bye bye.'"

Authorities say Joshua Robb was last seen Monday morning going into the woods near Grandview Elementary School in Twin Peaks. They gave chase, but they weren't able to find him.

Volunteers fanned out on Tuesday morning into neighborhoods looking for any sign of the boy.

The weather made efforts more difficult for rescuers. The hunt was briefly suspended earlier in the day due to a thunderstorm. It rained on and off overnight, and temperatures were in the 40s.

Crews used thermal imaging equipment and helicopters.

The boy's parents said their son was removed from their custody three weeks ago after someone apparently saw the boy being tied to a pole. Authorities placed him under the care of his teacher.

Ron Robb said they do that to their son to restrain him, and he believes his son ran away to look for them.

"All he knows is us. We've never had a break from my son ever since he was born," the father said. "We know for a fact that that's why he escaped, because he was out trying to find us."

Ron Robb said his son ran away before.

When Joshua was released from the hospital, his parents hoped to take him home but he was turned over to Child Protective Services.

"They still don't want to release him to us in any manner or fashion at all," Robb said.

The Robbs say their next custody hearing is set for Thursday.


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