Spokane Police: 5-year-old boy found safe in car

SPOKANE, Wash. – A little boy was quickly found thanks to the help of local authorities and concerned neighbors. 

The 5-year-old child’s parents woke up Thursday to find he was missing. 

The child has autism and is non-verbal, which prompted a large police response. Spokane Police and Spokane Fire searched the West Central neighborhood on the ground while the Sheriff’s Office searched from a helicopter up above. 

An emergency notification was sent to nearby phones early in the morning, which alerted neighbors to the search. Police said many people left their homes to help after getting the alert. 

Officers determined the boy left home between midnight and 1 a.m., and the front door locked behind him. 

He was ultimately found in a car when a neighbor left for work. He was asleep and cold, but unharmed.