Texas authorities ask for help in locating a missing 7-year-old with autism.
Xavion Young, who goes by the name “Xia” is non-verbal. He reportedly disappeared from the backyard of his apartment complex after wandering off alone on Sunday around noon, reports KPRC.
According to his family members, he likes to feed geese at a pond located behind the Costa Mariposa Apartment complex in Texas City.
His aunt, Jarita Oliver, told KTRK, the 7-year-old lives with his mother and two sisters. Oliver says her nephew unlocked the door and walked out of the second floor of his townhouse while his mom was in the restroom.
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Young’s mother immediately ran outside the second she saw that he was gone and called 911. Oliver recalled:
“He was just gone that quick. It was very fast.”
Deputies, EquuSearch volunteers, and a dive team spent all night searching the retention ponds and the nearby area around the apartment complex for his whereabouts but found nothing.
Oliver told the station there’s more concern about the 7-year-old’s disappearance because he’s autistic. Authorities warn that Young could get easily scared by strangers.
His aunt says whoever finds him should speak softly and not call out to his full name in order to not spook the child. She explained:
“If you call him Xai he will know that you know him.”
The boy was last seen shirtless, wearing nothing but gray and white plaid shorts and black and blue Velcro shoes.
Oliver says his mother is terrified as dive teams search ponds for the little boy. According to Autism Speaks, children with autism are drawn to water because of the sensory experience.
Water actually increasing the wandering risk, in light of this, parents with children on the autism spectrum are urged to take water safety precautions and monitor their child at all times for their own safety.
According to authorities, Young could have easily slipped through a narrow opening in the fence that separates the apartment complex from the body of water.
Anyone with information about the boy’s location should contact the Texas City Police Department at (409) 643-5730.
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Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.