9-year-old boy reported missing in Hammond found safe

Sunday, September 3, 2017

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- A 9-year-old boy with a cognitive disability who was reported missing Saturday in Hammond, Ind., was found at about 11 p.m. - hours after he was last seen watching TV in his family's home.

Officers responded about 3 p.m. to the 100-block of Ruth Street after getting a report that Anthony Mitchell had left his home and could not be found, according to Hammond police. His parents were preparing to celebrate his birthday on Sunday.

Multiple police agencies were searching for him Saturday night, including with K-9 units and a Lake County sheriff's office helicopter, police said.

At about 11 p.m., he was found near his home and taken home safely.

A Hammond police officer was driving around the area with his windows down when he heard the boy say "help." He got out of his car and searched for him, finding him tucked in a bush.

"We'd been worried that he was hurt," said the officer who found him. "So, we're just really relieved. I told him, 'Hey dude, we've been looking for you all night.' We're just glad that he's OK."

The officer said he was cold, but seemed OK.

It was unclear if the boy was in the same area all day. He was located less than a half mile from the family's home.