Police Find, Return Special Needs Child Who Wandered Into Cheyenne In The Night

A father was reunited with his special-needs son Monday morning after the boy, who is nonverbal, wandered away from their Cheyenne home overnight.

Clair McFarland

July 03, 20232 min read

Cheyenne sign 7 3 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A father was reunited with his special-needs son Monday morning after the boy wandered away from their Cheyenne home overnight, police say.  

Police encountered an 8-year-old boy wandering at around 1 a.m. Monday near West 20th Street and O’Neil Avenue in Cheyenne. Apparently disabled, the boy was nonverbal and walked on his toes. He wore a yellow and blue T-rex T-shirt and red shorts. 

Police at the time estimated him to be between 6 and 10 years old.

The boy’s father reunited with him roughly eight hours later, according to Cheyenne Police Department social media posts.  

The dad had gone to bed after a long night at work, Capt. David Janes told Cowboy State Daily.  

“Dad works nights,” said Janes.

The dad returned home from work at about 11 p.m., checked on his kids and went to bed.  

A 14-year-old boy was supposed to be in charge overnight, Janes added, but the 8-year-old slipped out in the night and went wandering.  

Police did not know when they first found the boy that he’d only made it about two blocks from home.  

The Cheyenne Police Department just before 2 a.m. dispatched an alert to its social media page asking for more information about the child. School district employees identified the boy for police.  

“Thankfully everything worked out OK and we got the kiddo back to dad,” said Janes.  

Some families with special needs children or adults use a bracelet police can locate via radio frequency. But in this case, Janes said, the device wouldn’t have come into use.

“In this case we found him before anybody knew he was missing,” he said.

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter