Owasso Teen Helped Police Search, Find Missing 5-Year-Old

Friday, July 17th 2020, 9:26 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

OWASSO, Okla. -

A missing five-year-old boy from Owasso is safe, thanks in part to a teenager and some special equipment.

Owasso police said the 5-year-old got out of his home and officers were finally able to locate him in a pond after a little help from the community.

17-year-old Austin Clarke heard about a 5-year-old boy missing from an Owasso apartment complex Friday morning, so he jumped on his bike with his drone in hand, ready to help.

"They immediately took the help from my drone and coordinated where we should be," Austin said.

Austin said police officers had him deploy the drone to search the trees and ponds all over the complex.

"Once we knew we had that missing child, everybody started searching," said Owasso Police Lt. Nick Boatman. 

Boatman said the 5-year-old had been missing for upwards of an hour before they were called, and the heat wasn't their only concern.

"One of the difficulties with this is the child is dealing with some mental challenges, so it was a little bit difficult to find him," Boatman said.

"It was a heavily wooded area and they had several ponds and drainage ditches," Austin said.

Boatman said about 30 minutes after police were called, a K-9 officer found the boy in a pond, so he jumped in and rescued him.

Boatman said it was an accident and the boy's parents aren't being charged.

Austin said he is proud his drone could help them out, and said he'd do it again in a heartbeat. 

"I'll be the first one there and assist in any way I can," Austin said.