Missing Illinois Boy Found In Tulsa

Wednesday, April 4th 2007, 2:36 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police say an Illinois boy missing for two years has been found in Tulsa. The 6-year-old boy is in protective custody Wednesday. His grandmother is behind bars. Police say the grandmother disappeared with the boy in March of 2005. Many people consider missing children mailers another piece of junk mail, but the News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports those mailers are what led Tulsa Police to the boy and his grandmother.

They come in the mail every week, sandwiched between bills and other letters, and most people don't give them a second glance.

"Everybody gets the mailers and most people look at it and throw it away," said Tulsa Police Sgt. John Adams.

But someone did look at a mailer, and in the grainy, black and white photos, he saw something familiar.

"This person looked at the mailer and said 'I recognize that child. This child lives in my neighborhood' and called the police," said Adams.

Police officers showed up to that Tulsa neighborhood and found Doris Garretson and Jonathan Smalley.

Illinois police say the two have been missing for two years. Adams says it's no coincidence that the mailers were put in Tulsa mailboxes.

"Most people don't realize that they're targeted for a geographic area of the country not just randomly sent out," Adams said.

And this case shows, those little cards work.

"When you get the mailer, take a second,” said Adams. “When you walk into Wal-Mart, look at the wall. Look at the poster. You might just recognize someone on it."

Garretson did have a warrant in Illinois for her arrest. She's now being held in the Tulsa County jail as a fugitive from justice. The News On 6 talked with Garretson's mother who says Garretson has had the 6-year-old since he was born. She says that's because the boy's mother can't take care of him and that Garretson is a very good guardian.