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Missing autistic boy is found in San Bernardino National Forest

September 13, 2011 |  3:09 pm

An autistic 8-year-old boy who was missing for more than 24 hours after running away from his school was found in "pretty good shape" Tuesday afternoon in a deep canyon in the rugged San Bernardino National Forest, sheriff's officials said.

Joshua Robb, who had crawled through a school fence at Grandview Elementary late Monday morning, was found about a mile away in an area that was difficult to reach.

"He's drinking water ... eating ... it's elation ... relief," San Bernardino County sheriff's Lt. Rick Ells told reporters at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station near Lake Arrowhead. 167865.ME.0913.Missing.Boy.2.GMF

Medics have been flown in to check his condition.

"His general condition, he seems in pretty good shape. He is tired, eating," said Ells.

Rescuers had spread out across the forest Tuesday morning in a frantic search for the boy.

A shoe print was found by the more than 60 deputies and California Highway Patrol officers who were looking for the boy.

Staff members at the school had apparently chased Joshua, who is 4 feet 6 and weighs about 75 pounds, but they couldn’t catch him before he ran into the forest.

News of the boy's rescue came just as Joshua's father, Ron Robb, was speaking to reporters.

He was found by a three-person crew. First they found the striped shirt he'd been wearing about a mile and a half northeast of the school. They took a photograph of it and emailed his mother, Patricia Calcott, 44, to find out if it belonged to her son. She said it was Joshua's.

The crews continued and found him not far from where the shirt was found in a deeply forested area described as being like a canyon. Capt. Tony Nicassio said "he was basically boxed in."


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Photos: (top) Trish Calcott hugs her husband, Ron Robb, after their 8-year-old autistic son was found. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

bottom) A member of the search team checks for footprints in the San Bernardino National Forest. The missing boy was found a few hours later. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times