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Search continues for autistic boy in San Bernardino mountains

September 12, 2011 | 11:45 pm

Joshua Robb Authorities planned to search the woods of a San Bernardino Mountains community overnight for a severely autistic 8-year-old boy who ran away from his elementary school during morning recess.

San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said Joshua Robb ran out of the gates of Grandview Elementary School's playground in Arrowhead about 11 a.m. Monday.

School staff pursued him, but the 4-foot, 6-inch boy ran into nearby woods and had not been found as of 11:15 p.m. Monday, Bachman said.

"There's no sign of him," she said.

Sheriff's deputies responded within minutes of receiving a call that a boy was missing from the school, Bachman said.

“This kind of behavior where he runs off is typical,” Bachman said, but she said Joshua had never fled into the forest before or been gone long enough to merit a search by law enforcement.

“Loud noises or loud voices could be disturbing to him," she said of Joshua. "Unfortunately, that's really the only way to search for him.”

Joshua has brown hair, dark brown eyes and weighs 60 to 75 pounds, she said. He was last seen wearing a tan and gray striped collared shirt, black shorts and gray sandals.

Bachman said that if people spot Joshua, they should not approach him because "that may scare him and make him run." But they should alert law enforcement immediately.

San Bernardino officials had requested search-and-rescue volunteers from San Diego and Riverside late Monday, Bachman said, and the added volunteers were expected to join the search at daybreak.

Anyone with information was asked to call the department’s Twin Peaks station at (909) 336-0600 or (909) 387-8313.


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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Joshua Robb

Credit: Courtesy San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department