Port Richmond teen with autism found safe after being missing for days when dropped off at wrong bus stop
PORT RICHMOND - A local mom says her teen with autism was dropped off at the wrong bus stop, then disappeared. He was missing for days and his outraged mother is speaking out and demanding answers.
"I was just happy to see him. To make sure that he’s okay," Rocquel Jones stated. "To be reunited with him was just great."
A huge relief for Jones, who says her autistic son was missing for at least two days. The last time she saw him was Monday morning, when he left the house to get on the school bus.
Her 19-year-old son is a student with special needs at Kensington Health Sciences Academy. The School District of Philadelphia says on Monday afternoon, he was dropped off at the wrong stop.
"The bus driver had already told us three different stories," Jones said.
A spokesperson says the district was using a substitute company and driver from Total Transportation. That substitute driver will no longer be driving children in the district.
"I have cameras in the house, so when the first story came out that he came in the house at 2:45, I pulled up the footage from 2:44 to 3:00. He never entered the home at all, as it was stated by the driver," Jones explained.
Philadelphia police got involved in the search and asked for the public’s help in finding the missing teen Tuesday. Jones said her family went even further, putting out all kinds of social media posts in the hope that someone would find him.
"I’m glad that social media was able to come together and help bring my son home," Jones remarked.
Jones says her son was located all the way in West Philadelphia where the family lived for several years.
"I think that the young guys knew him, because they had contacted my daughter and was like, ‘Hey he is over here,’" Jones said. "They understood when we said keep him right there. He grew up around there, so they were able to keep him there."
While the case is still under investigation, Jones is calling for accountability. "One thing we just need to make sure – that this doesn’t happen again."