K-9 locates missing autistic child in New Castle County

A K-9 came to the rescue in Newark, Delaware Saturday when he successfully located a missing 7-year-old autistic child.

Around 2 p.m., New Castle County Police responded to East Richards Lane in search of the child. The officers learned that the child likes the woods, leading them to a nearby wooded area where officers were able to track footprints.

Police say K-9 Ace tracked into the large wooded area between Richards Lane and Old Coach Road where, after some time, the K-9 and his handler came upon a couple who found a pair of child's sneakers. The couple reported that they saw a child matching the description of the missing juvenile about 15 minutes earlier.

According to his handler, K-9 Ace was able to get a better scent from the sneakers and started tracking again on the path through the woods heading towards Polly Drummond Hill Road. After some time, K-9 Ace and his handler saw the child running over a small wooden bridge.

The child was hesitant to come to the officers at first, but was very interested in K-9 Ace, according to police. The handler allowed the child to pet K-9 Ace on his back and hold onto K-9 Ace's rear harness handle to help make the child more comfortable.

Police say that during the long walk back, the child became comfortable enough to be given a piggyback ride by one of the officers.

Officials say the distance from the child's home to where he was found was close to a mile of wooded and hilly terrain.