27 Oct 2012

Five-year-old missing in bush found safe and well

10:01 pm on 27 October 2012

A five-year-old autistic boy who went missing in bush near Wainuiomata, north of Wellington, on Saturday afternoon has been found after a five-hour search.

He was located safe and well at 9.10pm by a police search and rescue dog team near the area where he went missing.

Police say it was a great effort by the searchers in very difficult conditions and they are relieved at the positive outcome.

Senior Sergeant Marc Clausen says the boy was walking on the popular Orongorongo track in the Rimutaka Forest Park with his family at about 3.45pm when he ran ahead on his own.

A short time later the father ran along the track to catch up with him but couldn't find him. Family members and others helped search at first but six two-person search and rescue teams soon took over.

It has been raining in the area and police say they were prepared to search all night if they had to.

The name of the boy will not be released as some of his family are still to be advised of what happened.