LENEXA, Kan. — Safe and sound — that’s how police found a missing 3 1/2-year-old boy, who was reported missing from his Lenexa apartment around 4:45 a.m. Thursday.
Police found Zayden Henderson shortly before 8 a.m. in a neighbor’s apartment inside Oak Park apartment complex. The complex is located near 95th and Monrovia in Lenexa, Kan.
Police said Zayden’s mother laid down with him and fell asleep around 9:30 Wednesday night. When she woke around 4:45 Thursday morning, she discovered Zayden and a Yorkshire Terrier dog were missing. At the time, Zayden was wearing only pajamas and many feared he had wandered outside in below-freezing temperatures.
However, police later learned he did not go far. According to authorities, little Zayden woke up after falling asleep with his mother, took his dog and let himself out of his apartment using a step stool. Shortly after, a neighbor heard the boy and the dog in the hallway by his apartment. The neighbor knocked on Zayden’s door in an attempt to wake his mother. When she did not come to the door, the neighbor took the boy into their apartment for the night.
Later, police knocked on everyone’s door inside the apartment complex, but the neighbors who had the boy did not answer their door until shortly before 8 a.m.
Lenexa Master Police Officer Dan Friesen said Zayden has wandered away from his home three times before and was always located in the building or parking lot of his apartment complex.
“Last time, he took his sisters purse, came down the stairs, got in her car and started it up,” said Cliff Henderson.
Henderson is a father figure to Zayden. He’s not the biological father, but was married to Zayden’s mother at one time.
“We put a lock on his door so he wouldn’t get out of his room at night,” he said, “so I guess she’s just going to have to make sure that when she puts him to bed at night that he’s in his room where he can’t get out.”
Henderson said there was much concern about Zayden’s safety considering the frigid temperatures.
“I don’t even want to think about what could’ve happened if he was outdoors,” Henderson said.
Overland Park police assisted Lenexa in the search.