Neighbors help find 4-year-old missing Raytown boy who wandered from home

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RAYTOWN, Mo. — Doctors are looking over a 4-year-old boy at the hospital after the child disappeared for about five hours early Friday morning.

Neighbors helped police find the boy, called “Joey.”

Relatives discovered the boy missing just before 3 a.m. near East 75th Street and Richards Drive. Family members told police they think Joey just walked out of the house during the early morning rains. He was wearing only a diaper.

Police said Joey is on the autism spectrum, and they used crews from area agencies and search dogs to look for him in the neighborhood.

Just after 8 a.m., a man at the nearby Clear View Apartments spotted a child’s head peeking over the steering wheel of his neighbor’s car parked in the lot.

“When I came down the stairs, he was describing him, and I said, ‘No, that’s the baby that’s missing,'” said Delores Gardner, the car’s owner. “So I ran and I immediately, before we got down the steps, told him to call 911. I got to the car and the baby was sitting in my car.”

Gardner snapped a photo of the boy in her car as police arrived and attended to the child. She’s says Joey was upset and cold and she tried to calm him down. She’s glad she left her car unlocked so they boy had a safe place to find to get out of the rain.

According to the safety group, Kids and Cars, nearly seven out of 10 boys who disappear in similar situations are found inside vehicles. Everyone is grateful for the safe result.

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