Nothing caused more of a sensation like the story of Robert A. Wood, Jr, who was missing for over 5 days in Hanover. An entire community took days off from their lives to help in his search. Robert, a resident of Caroline County, is an 8-year old and autistic and attends the Faison School for Autism.
On Sunday, October 24th, Robert was with his father in the North Anna Battlefied Park, and his girlfriend, when they stopped to help his little brother, who is also autistic, and Robert got away from them. He was a regular vistor of the parks and loved to climb trees.
For five days and five nights, he remained missing. Thousands of volunteers, who consisted of his mother, his father, other friends and family members, local police department, personnel from the Faision school, military and concerned citizens, locally and out of state, participated in the search. Several returned from previous days. Nightly vigils were held in Hanover, and training sessions took place every morning until he was found on Friday, October 28th. His mother was about to give up hope and the first cold spell was about hit on the same day when he was found.
Tears of happiness were shed and prayers were answered as the news was reported by the local sheriff on the local news. No other search had existed in the community this large and widespread before.
Robert was taken to VCU Medical Center, where it took two additional weeks for him to recover, from bruises and a perforation in this throat. His mother was grateful for all who participated. Also, one volunteer suffered from a heart attact in the process. All can consider themselves heroes, including the little boy, who survived against all odds.
Since, several communities are now offering the tracking device which is placed on a child or adult and allows local police to find you via the device. It was created by Project Lifesaver, www.projectlifesaver.com. Some locations are offering it free to its residents. The City of Richmond is currently in the process of creating this program for its residents.
Courtesy of Richmond Times-Dispatch.