Photo by John Schreiber
Photo by John Schreiber

Updated at 11:20 a.m. June 8, 2015

An Orange County Sheriff’s deputy found a boy running toward the Santa Ana (5) Freeway early Monday morning, prompting a search for his parents, who were located by late morning.

A deputy spotted the 13-year-old boy on Crown Valley Parkway running toward the 5 Freeway about 1:45 a.m. and stopped him around Kaleidoscope Road, Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

“He had difficulty articulating his name and where he lived,” Hallock said, adding that there was some speculation the boy might be autistic, but his family never identified him as having that condition.

The deputy took the teen to the Mission Viejo Station, where he gave deputies two different first and last names that didn’t match families in the area, and also said he was 11, then 15 years old, sheriff’s officials said.

The boy is prone to running off, Hallock said.

“He’s done this before, so (his mother) wasn’t overly concerned and went out looking for him in places where she’s found him before,” the lieutenant said.

“At some point, we got an anonymous tip where he lives,” Hallock said.

When deputies went to the boy’s home, the mother was out looking for her son, he said, adding that she said she did not call authorities right away “because she usually finds him” on her own.

The parents are not accused of being negligent, “and there’s no criminal component to this,” Hallock said.

—City News Service

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