A Delaware police K-9 led a successful search for a missing autistic child this weekend.
On Saturday, New Castle County police were called by a woman claiming her 7-year-old son had not been seen for 15 minutes, and may have wandered into the woods.
Soon after arriving at the family's home on East Richards Lane in Newark, New Castle County police K-9 Ace and his handler began to follow a trail of footprints into the woods.
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The search team came across a couple during their quest who had found a pair of shoes and were able to match a description of the missing boy, police said. Using the shoes, Ace was able to pick up a stronger scent and narrow the exploration.
After some time, Ace and his handler spotted the boy running across a wooden bridge.
Although he was hesitant at first, the boy became comfortable by petting Ace and eventually accepted a piggy back ride from one of the searching officers.
"I held onto the dog. I asked him to hold onto the back harness...and said 'Hey! Do you want to walk my dog by the harness?' He walked him. Ace was fine the whole time. The boy walked with us, he gained trust with us," New Castle County police Cpl. Cory Tanyer said.
He was found close to a mile from his home and returned without any injuries.