8-year-old boy with autism found unharmed - WKRN News 2

8-year-old boy with autism found unharmed

Posted: Updated: April 13, 2013 06:25 PM
Josh Mata, after being rescued Josh Mata, after being rescued

An 8-year-old autistic boy was found unharmed after he was lost in the Cheatham Wildlife Management Area for more than six hours.

Josh Mata, of White Bluff, was with his family visiting the wildlife reserve Saturday morning when it's believed he wandered off.

His family called 9-11 and a massive search was launched.

Sheriff's deputies, firefighters, K-9 handlers and citizen volunteers searched on the ground while a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter scanned the 20,000 acre reserve from overhead.

"Any time somebody comes up missing it's important to us," said Cheatham County EMS Chief Dan Schaeffer. "But it's definitely heightened when it's a child."

A little after 5:00 p.m. Saturday the boy was found in the woods about 100 yards off the highway.

A rescue crew was driving down the road when they heard a whistling noise coming from the woods. They went in to check it out, and found the boy.

Josh was reunited with his family, checked out by a paramedic and cleared to go home.

EMS officials say more than 100 emergency responders and volunteers pitched in to help.  


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