Deputies leading a search for a missing autistic boy, who ran away from his school in Twin Peaks, California, played his favorite rock and country music over a loudspeaker to calm the boy so he wouldn't be afraid to be found by searchers.
Joshua Robb, who is severely autistic, was last seen as he slipped through a fence on the playground at Grandview Elementary School and then eluded staff members moving deeper into the woods of San Bernardino National Forest.
Deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department (SBCSD) begin a ground and air search in the area surrounding the school. A team of sixty search and rescue members from multiple counties and four dogs continued the search into the forest. Search efforts were slowed by heavy a rain storm, hail and lightning, reports the SBCSD in a public statement.
The eight-year-old had been missing for more then 24 hours when his father, Ron Robb, came up with the idea to play music the boy enjoyed listening to, along with a tape of the father's voice, over a public address system to soothe the boy who was alone and afraid, and had already spent one night in woods by himself, reported NBC Los Angeles.
Josh's father suggested playing Alan Jackson's 'Good Time' and Ozzy Osbourne's 'No More Tears.' The deputies said "they hoped the tape would bring comfort to Joshua and he will move towards the sound."
Shortly after Ron Robb heard them blaring the Ozzy tune, young Josh was found by rescuers.
The police statement read:
San Bernardino Mountain Search and Rescue Team had found Josh's t-shirt and shoe tracks at 1pm on Tuesday in a densely wooded area approximately a mile from the school. They followed those tracks for 1.5 miles calling out the boy's name. At around 2:30 Joshua came out from behind brush walking towards the search members. Joshua looked up at the team members and said "Thank you, you saved me."
The boy was given food and water by his rescuers and appeared to be tired, and slightly dehydrated. He was airlifted from the area and transported to Loma Linda Medical Center as a precautionary measure.
Ron Robb said the boy, who was only wearing shorts and shoes when he was found, had "scratches and bruises all over him. I really don't care, just as long as he came back alive," said the boy's father Ron Robb.
Joshua was in the custody of the San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services and and living with a teacher from the school, when he ran away, reports the LA Times.
He had been removed from the care of his parents Ron Robb and Patricia Calcott after a real estate agent reported to authorities that he had seen the boy tied to a post, with nylon rope, in the family yard.
Joshua's father said "he was a flight risk" and was secured to the post for his own safety. The parents believe the boy was looking for them when he ran away from his caretakers at the school. Robb and Calcott have been living in a campground since their home foreclosure.