Family: Missing boy may have walked to Glenview

June 21, 2012 4:16:31 PM PDT
A 15-year-old Chicago boy with autism who was missing for two days is back with his family. Kahil Gray was found by a jogger on a bike path in Glenview.

Kahil's family believes the boy may have walked all the way from Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood to the northern suburb. Mary Olander was jogging along the path when she saw the teenager. She said she recognized Kahil from news reports so she said, "hello," and then called police.

"He was fine. He was calm. Just walking. Just looked a little confused. But he was fine," Olander said.

The Glenview Police Department took him to NorthShore University HealthSystem Glenbrook Hospital, where the teenager was checked out by doctors and reunited with his family.

"Oh, it was a joy, overwhelming. I was so overwhelmed. You know, it's like, I really couldn't believe it's really happening. It feels like I'm living in a dream," Beryl Gray, Kahil's mother, said.

ABC7 was with the Gray family when they got the call their boy, who has trouble communicating, was safe in Glenview.

"I said, 'Kahil, daddy, daddy.' And I could hear his voice, and I know that's my son," Michael Gray, Kahil's father, said. "This is not what we wanted. But God has a way of working out things."

"And the first thing I said, 'Hello.' 'Hi, mommy,' [he said], so he recognized my voice," Beryl Gray said.

Kahil had been missing since 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, when he ran away from his father after an appointment at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Hospital staffers and volunteers canvassed the area nearby for two days looking for him.

"I think it's possible that in the two days he could have walked there, but I'm trying to see how he navigated downtown," Michael Gray said.

"Had his picture not been all over the place, I'm sure the result wouldn't have been as quick or the same," said Chief Phil Perlini, Glenview Police Department.

"Words cannot express how happy I am. The whole family is so happy. It's like a dream come true. I have not slept in two days," said Beryl Gray.

Police say Kahil is in remarkably good health given the very warm temperatures these past couple days. If he really did walk all that way, that's a 25 mile walk in a straight line.


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