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.”

(credit: CBS)

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.

(credit: CBS)

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.

Comments (19)
  1. TT says:

    Oh Im so glad you all found him 🙂 Thats awsome !!!


      GREAT ENDING!!! 🙂

  2. joe says:

    wonderful news! thank God.

    i pin this event directly on the CPS. they took this young man away from his parents solely on the call of some real estate broker who saw them using a harness to keep him at a safe distance so he would not run off when they were leaving the house they loss to foreclosure. the real estate broker should have minded his or her own business and CPS are notoriously incompetent. I have friends with autistic children and it is a heartbreak. walk a mile in the shoes of those parents and then talk to me

    1. drcldh says:

      Thank you, Joe! I’m a parent of an autistic boy, and he was a runner. I get tired of people judging me. My dad designed a specially-made harness that was soft, and let him run all over the yard and play safely without fear of him running into the busy street. We had the same type of harness for the car. My son would kick out the windows and try to get out the doors while we would drive on the freeway…I had two concussions in one month because my son could get ‘loose’ from his car seat while we were in the car. And you are right – CPS are absolutely incompetent! I had to get my son’s doctor to write a note stating that when my son was screaming, it was part of his autistic behavior; that I wasn’t beating him. I didn’t want the neighbors thinking I was hurting him (which I never did and would never do!). As you said, walk a mile in my shoes…

  3. D. Mc says:

    Im so happy he was found ! He should have a one on one aide, my son is aut too and this boy should have one asap !

  4. c. toth says:

    FANTASTIC NEWS!!!! Our son is autistic and legally blind. The day after he was mistakenly dropped off at the wrong school and lost for the afternoon WE PURCHASED A CELL PHONE FOR HIM TO KEEP ON HIM AT ALL TIMES. Not only did it make us feel better, but gave our son additional comfort that either us or 911 was just a phone call away. Just a thought for the future. Celebrate tonight was lots of hugs and kisses.

  5. r says:

    I wrote a comment an hour ago and it is not posted. So much for freedom of speach.

    1. drcldh says:

      This one was posted…try again 🙂

  6. Jeff says:

    Who is going to pay for this?

    1. r says:

      The real estate agent.

  7. Sage Advice says:

    QUOTE: Robb’s parents said their son was a flight risk in the past.

    Well then tether up the little elf so this doesn’t happen again.

    The kid may be forgiven because he doesn’t know any better, but the parents and the school reps are just plain stupid.


    1. Sunne says:

      Really? Your id is “Sage advice” – joke of the day! If you are going to insult people be smart enough (not “just plain stupid” – your words) to actually read and comprehend a news story. They tethered him and lost custody of him for doing so. The school lost him.

  8. Ryan says:

    They did that and child protective service was called on them by a neighbor, they were arrested and later released

  9. kara oconnell says:

    does california have this? if not they should get it! it would have found the child fast.
    we have it in wisconsin.

  10. barbara says:

    R U KIDDING ME who cares what kind of child it was it was a child period. I am so happy he was found safe and hopefully everything will be resolved with his living situation and back with people who know and love him

  11. Karen says:

    Joshua Robb needs to be returned to his parents immediately. CPS should never have taken him. He ran away to find his parents. That is obvious. Autistic children need familar patterns.

    My mother used to tie my brother to a tether sometimes for the same reason and he was not autistic.

    Cut these parents some slack. Their home was just foreclosed and some idiot neighbor calls CPS on them. Shame on that neighbor.

    Return Joshua Robb to his parents Ronnie and Patricia Robb immediately. He needs to be with them. It’s obvious.

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    There’s even better products than what project lifesaver offers. Check out which is a perfect product to protect autistic children that wander.

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