Hillsborough County deputies located a missing 9-year-old with autism in Ruskin on Sunday, crediting the success of the rescue mission to a special bracelet the child was wearing.
The call for assistance came around 6 p.m., prompting a swift response from the Sheriff’s Office. Despite adverse weather conditions that prevented the use of an air unit, the deputies persisted in their ground search for the missing child.
The child’s SafetyNet bracelet is what enabled the deputies to pinpoint his location by providing GPS information when traditional aerial support was unavailable. SafetyNet grants law enforcement access to such data for individuals with cognitive conditions in case of disappearance, as reported by WFLA.
The deputies located the missing child behind an outdoor A/C unit at 6:50 p.m. on Sunday, approximately 20 minutes after detecting the signal. Upon discovery, the deputies greeted the boy, who was found about 0.02 miles from home, with a friendly “Hey buddy!”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister expressed immense pride in the deputies’ responsiveness and expertise, emphasizing their crucial role in the successful recovery of the missing child.
He commended their dedication to community safety, particularly for vulnerable individuals. Sheriff Chronister noted the effectiveness of SafetyNet as a lifesaving tool and expressed gratitude for the strong partnership supporting such initiatives.