November 25, 2009

Missing boy spent 11 days wandering New York subways

Posted: 02:14 PM ET

New York (CNN) - A 13-year-old teenager with Asperger's syndrome spent 11 days in October wandering New York's vast subway system until a police officer recognized him from a missing persons' poster, according to police and the youth's mother. 

Francisco Hernandez Jr., who has Asperger's, a developmental disorder that affects the ability to socialize and communicate, disappeared on October 15, after he thought he was in trouble at school, according to his mother, Marsiela Garcia of Brooklyn.

Garcia told CNN that she contacted police when her son went missing, but received little help.

Garcia said she and her husband took matters into their own hands and posted signs and fliers around the neighborhood, in public areas, even in the subway. "Nobody told me nothing," she said.

The teen was eventually identified by a transit police officer in the Coney Island section of New York, after the officer recognized him from the fliers that had been posted throughout the subway system. He was returned home unharmed.

Garcia said her son wore the same clothes for 11 days, slept in subway cars, used bathrooms in stations and spent most of his time over those days underground. He had $11 when he disappeared, she said, and he ate lollipops, potato chips and other food he bought in subway stations.

"He's never explained (to) me what happened in these days," Garcia said.

Francisco told his mother he didn't ask for help or communicate with anyone, which experts say is not uncommon for people with Asperger's syndrome.

(Read more…)

Filed under: Crime

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Gramma159   November 25th, 2009 2:41 pm ET

Shouldn't the parents have followed him because of the Asperger's Syndrome. Wearing the same clothes is not an indicator in itself. My husband took off the shirt his mother planned for him to wear to put on a green old shirt he threw in the closet.

Kids with issues need help with tracking devices they can now put in their shoulder so parents can find them. My grandchildren all have them and their parents can easily find them. It shouldn't be an option when kids have issues like Asperger. Doctors' should have a responsibility and get the procedure done.

A. Smith, Oregon   November 25th, 2009 4:58 pm ET

Wow, this youngster has a Guardian Angel.

Its a miracle he wasn't mugger food.

Maggie from Australia   November 25th, 2009 7:29 pm ET

Very happy that everything turned out well for Francisco and his family.A very young family member with Autism once was in similar circumstances and it was very frightning at the time.

Tina Panos   November 26th, 2009 8:12 pm ET

Hello Larry love the show was wondering how in the world does this happen to a little kid.


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