Parents: Child was missing for 10 minutes: 7-year-old with autism walked out of school

Published 10:47 am Thursday, August 27, 2015

The parents of a 7-year-old child with autism who went missing from Mamie Martin Elementary School Wednesday said he was gone for more than 10 minutes before being picked up by police.

Michael Edwards said his son Evan Edwards walked out of the school, through a gate, went down Jennifer Street to Union Street and was spotted by a motorist who called police. He continued down Union Street and employees at a business at Hwy. 51 corralled him until police arrived, he said.

Mamie Martin Principal Rob McCreary said the incident lasted less than two minutes. Superintendent of Education Ben Cox said the child went through the car pickup gate around 8 a.m. while people were still using the access gate to drop off students. Cox said the child took off running down Jennifer Street and got on to Union Street before police picked him up almost immediately. Cox said a student had eyes on the child as he ran and alerted an employee.

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“This is a 7-year-old autistic kid who doesn’t speak,” he said. “None of (what the district said about the incident) is true.”

Michael Edwards said his wife dropped the child off at school at 8 a.m. and the call to police was made at 8:20 a.m.

The child was unharmed and was back with his parents later Wednesday morning.

Cox said he was “happy that everything’s fine and he’s safe right now.”