Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 29, 2012

Missing boy triggers ground search

By Dustin Luca
Staff Writer

---- — A missing 10-year-old boy sent Andover and state police on a heavy ground search Tuesday afternoon after he was locked out of his school and went missing.

Police first received calls about the missing boy from West Elementary School at 12:53 p.m. Once they realized the boy was missing, school officials “put their policies in motion to secure the school and notify us,” Andover Police Chief Brian Pattullo said.

Scanner reports indicated that the boy was last seen outside of the school and was unable to get in because the doors were locked.

At that point, the boy wandered off. After Andover police arrived at the scene, they called the State Police to help with the search. Four state police dogs were sent to the school, but plans to launch a state police helicopter were cancelled due to the weather, Pattullo said.

Police learned the boy’s location after receiving calls from Spencer Court residents who saw the boy walking along property tree lines, according to Pattullo. The boy was found on a small portion of a golf course next to the school around 1:45 p.m., just under an hour after he went missing.

Pattullo said the school buildings are all locked so people “can’t just walk in” during school hours.

“It all happened the way it was supposed to,” Pattullo said.