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Victoria boy found in home after three-hour search

By BY JJ VELASQUEZ
July 17, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.


A Victoria boy reported missing was found Saturday afternoon after a three-hour search ended where it started: in the 5-year-old's home.

He was found by officers at 2:31 p.m. in a search of the house. The Victoria Police Department searched the house on the 3200 block of Hummingbird Street several times before calling a search party to help, said Sgt. Adam Nieto, who was off-duty.

"Any time a child is missing, you first want to search the house," Nieto said.

The boy was found behind a trundle bed in a space between the drawers, said Sgt. Erica Padilla. The drawers had been pulled out in previous searches of the house, but the searchers did not see the boy.

Nieto is a friend of the family and was called for moral support. He spoke on behalf of the parents, who declined comment.

The boy hid early in the morning because he had done something wrong and was afraid he would be in trouble, Nieto said. Police were called within minutes of the parents' realization that the boy was missing.

"They were just very relieved that the child was found safe," he said of the parents.

A command post was established at the O'Connor Elementary School campus, near the boy's home. Neighbors rolled by in their vehicles and some pledged participation to post pictures of the boy on Facebook.

A Community Emergency Response Team of 20 people was also assembled.

"It was just shocking ... that something would happen in this neighborhood," said Janet Williams, whose parents have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.

Williams' worst fear was that the boy had been kidnapped. She was relieved to find that he had been in the house all along.

"It's a blessing that they found him," she said.

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