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Sheriff News

Posted on: October 28, 2023

Van Buren County Sheriff News Release - 23-010463 Missing Autistic 3-year-old


Nature of Incident:  Missing Autistic 3-year-old

Incident #:  23-010463

Date & Time:  10/27/23 Approx 1400hrs

Location:  West Point Drive, Village of Mattawan

Investigating and Assisting Agencies:  

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office

Mattawan Police Department

Michigan State Police

Van Buren EMS

Mattawan Fire Department

Great Lakes Drone


Sheriff Daniel E Abbott Reports that Deputies along with multiple other entities assisted the Mattawan police Department with the search of a missing 3-year-old.  It was reported that the male child was autistic and non-verbal.  The caller stated that the child had been missing for approximately 20 minutes prior to the 911 call.  Deputies arrived on scene, set up a perimeter and began a search.   The Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit responded and K-9 Kuno with handler Deputy Eric Calhoun began a track.  Great Lakes Drone responded also and began flying a grid pattern search over the wooded area.  The k-9 team established a good track, verified by evidence, and were brought to a small pond where the child’s blanket was located.  As this was found and that area was being searched a citizen at a location approximately 150 yards away called dispatch and stated they believed they found the child in a creek near another pond.  A deputy responded and verified it was the missing child.  The child was checked by ambulance personnel and returned to his parents.  It was found that the child had exited the house through a side door and headed straight to the woods, this was witnessed by one of his siblings.  This case remains under investigation.  A very successful outcome with multiple agencies and citizens assistance with the child located returned safely


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