UPDATE 8/10: Kansas City police say Zachary Deutsch, a 15-year-old with autism, has been found safe.
In a statement, police say he was "not in danger" and "every indication was that he left and walked away."
Deutsch was brought to the hospital and should be back in custody of his mother soon.
The mother of an autistic teenager said she is terrified for her missing son, furious because no one seems to care, and horrified at the lack of help.
There has not been an alert in the case because police consider Zachary Deutsch a teenage runaway.
However, his mother said it is not that simple and that she feels there should be an alert. So, she is hanging homemade posters up all over town in an effort to let people know he is missing.
He functions at the level of a 7-year-old. “You can imagine what that’s like for him,” Brenda Deutsch, his mother, said.
When asked how he would survive on the streets, she said, “I don’t think he will. I don’t. Whatever he’s doing, he will steal to do it.”
Six days ago, Zachary Deutsch walked away from the Ozanam Group Home. His mother said it took three days before that group home even told her son was missing.
“I think it’s horrible,” she said. “I think there should be more supervision there. I think they should be more aware of what these kids are doing. They are being paid to do this. My son should not be missing.”
Zachary Deutsch has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and ADHD.
His mother is furious with the group home and disappointed in the Kansas City Police Department.
“I’ve called every day,” she said. “‘Please, please put it in the news!’ ‘Sorry, we can’t do that. He’s a runaway.’”
His mother said that’s ridiculous. She has been contacting news outlets herself and hanging her posters.
“It’s extremely dangerous because, at this point, he’s been with no medication,” she said. “None. He’s very explosive and, for someone to not know him or understand him or know him, it could be very dangerous for him.”
Zachary is from Springfield, so he is not familiar with Kansas City.
When he walked away from the group home, he was wearing a white t-shirt and blue pants. He has no money.
His mother said that, if you see him, you should approach with caution and that it’s best to simply alert police.
Ozanam released the following statement from Denise Cross, the President and CEO Cornerstone of Care:“The safety and wellbeing of children in our community is our top priority. Due to confidentiality, I am not at liberty to discuss the specifics of children in our care. We are always deeply concerned when a child leaves our campus, and we take immediate action. This includes filing a police report and notifying the parent or guardian as soon as possible. Our case managers keep close contact with parents, guardians and police officers; sharing any new information that becomes available. We collaborate with police and other community stakeholders to continuously improve campus security.”As for the police, KCTV5 News provided them all of the information you just read. We will let you know if they decide to issue an alert.
In the meantime, we are sharing his picture on our social media accounts.
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