TWIN PEAKS (CBS) — A missing 8-year-old boy with autism has been found after spending the night alone in the San Bernardino woods.
Joshua Robb, 8, was found by search and rescue members around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday about one mile northwest of Grandview Elementary School. Robb escaped through the school’s playground gates shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.
“He’s such a good boy,” said Robb’s mother, Patricia. “We know he was looking for us.”
The boy’s mother was referring to the fact that Robb was taken into protective custody several weeks ago after a neighbor accused them of child abuse. Patricia and Ronnie Robb were moving out of their foreclosed home and say they tethered their son to a pole for his own safety. They say his autism has made him a flight risk in the past.
The neighbor saw the boy tied up and reported the incident to Child Protective Services.
The parents haven’t seen Joshua for weeks.
“We know that’s why he left the school,” Ronnie Robb said. “He was looking for his mommy and daddy. Three weeks was too much for him to handle. And it was more than we could handle.”
“For a little boy with autism I’m sure it was extremely hard for him,” the father said.
“If he said, ‘Thank you, you saved me,’ I almost wasn’t sure you got the right boy,” he laughed.
“This wasn’t something we think he knew how to say or comprehend,” the parents said.
The parents went on to thank the search and rescue teams that searched through the night for their son.
Search and rescue teams were “playing rock music and a recording of his father’s voice in hopes it would coax him out,” said Jodi Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff.
Authorities said they found one of Robb’s shirts and some nearby tracks led them to the boy.
Robb was taken by helicopter to Loma Linda University Medical Center and will likely be kept overnight for observation. His condition was not known.