Special needs boy found safe after missing in the desert

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Graham County SAR: A Department of Public Safety Ranger crew confers with Graham County Search and Rescue personnel during a 2016 airlift rescue on Mount Graham.

PIMA — A 12 year old special needs boy was found safe in the desert north of Pima early Friday morning, thanks to a coordinated effort by multiple area agencies.

The boy’s family said he walked off at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday and, after the family searched for about three hours, contacted Graham County Sheriff’s Office. Graham County Search and Rescue and Pima Police were also called out and arrived at about 9 p.m. to begin the search.

In addition, Safford Police brought its drone and Arizona Department of Public Safety sent its Ranger helicopter out of Tucson to assist from the air.

Just after midnight Friday. DPS Ranger spotted a lone figure in the desert and communicated with Search and Rescue where to find the boy.

“He was in good shape; (we) had EMTs/medic team there to check him out. And we got him back to his family safe and sound,” said Ronnie Glaspie, Search and Rescue president.