A missing 13-year-old boy with autism was found by Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers Friday night after the sheriff decided to join the search and look around the Donner Park neighborhood before heading home from work.
Columbus Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and Indiana State Police had asked for the public’s help in locating Agustine Ordonez, also known as Junior.
He was reported missing after he was last seen at about 3 p.m. Friday at Central Middle School near downtown Columbus. Police believed he was lost and not attempting to run away.
Myers said he had been listening to the police scanner traffic of the search and heard something about Donner Park as being a possible location where the boy could be.
So on his way home, after 7 p.m., he decided to drive around the streets of that neighborhood, first around the park and down California, going up and down the neighborhood streets there, he said.
When he got to the 2400 block of Home Ave. at about 7:45 p.m., he saw a boy with a backpack but was unsure whether it was him. When he got to him, Myers called out “Hey Junior,” and the boy said, “yeah.”
“He said he had missed the bus,” Myers said. He told Myers he had walked to Donner and then to Taco Bell before the sheriff drove by and saw him.
The boy was wearing an ankle bracelet that allows law enforcement to locate him but police believe the battery may have run down. Seymour police were on their way to Columbus with equipment to try to connect a location to the bracelet when the boy was found, Myers said.
Myers was wearing his sheriff’s badge and put the lights on his sheriff’s car on so the boy would know he was a police officer, he said. However, he did call for another deputy to take the boy home.
“I was where I was supposed to be,” Myers said after the incident, saying the idea of finding the boy like this made him speechless. “I just looked over and there he was,” he said. “It was a God thing.”