Missing 10-year-old child found safe in Fort Worth TX
A missing 10-year-old boy was brought to safety after a nearly 15-hour search by police and community members. The police confirmed this on Wednesday at 11:20 a.m.
Fort Worth police and dozens of community members had searched overnight for the missing child Joseph Brandenburg, who was last seen on Tuesday at around 9 p.m. at the 10100 block on Lone Eagle Drive.
Police said a couple driving in the area recognized Joseph from a NextDoor app post they saw earlier in the day and called 911. They didn’t know the couple’s names.
Police said Joseph, who ran away after his father caught him reading a comic book he shouldn’t have, was found under a billboard near the intersection of Westpoint Boulevard and Interstate 820.
Officer Tracy Carter, a Fort Worth Police Department spokesman, said he was not injured when he was found but is likely afraid to return home after escaping.
“I just thank God he’s back,” said the boy’s father, who refused to give his name. He thanked the neighbors and friends in the ward.
“As soon as he pulled up in the driveway, I opened the door and saw my uncle crying and I knew he was safe home,” said cousin Ramiro Zamarripa. He said Joseph was not hurt.
“I think he was just scared. Fifteen hours alone in the forest I would be pretty scared too. Without shoes … no food, no drink. “
Carter said the family is recovering from the trauma of having a missing child, but they are also relieved to have him at home.
According to a police press release, Joseph was last seen leaving his house wearing a gray muscle shirt and black and white basketball shorts without shoes.
His home is in Fort Worth, west of White Settlement and east of the Tejas Trails district, about two miles from where it was found.
Police and members of Fort Worth Memories, a historic conservation group that does community service, raided the area between Academy Boulevard, Chapel Creek Boulevard, and White Settlement Road.
Marion “Tiger” Pipkin, a member who helps police coordinate with Fort Worth Memories, said the group had between 75 and 80 people to help with the search.
Other parishioners flocked to look for Joseph, shout his name, check storm drains, trash cans and overgrown grass, and peer into backyards and windows of abandoned houses.
Police used a helicopter, dogs, and horses to help with the search.
Lauren Torres had been searching since Tuesday night when she and her friend saw a post on a Facebook page of the White Settlement community.
“Last night some people were looking out here with all their families,” said Torres. “Children, parents and grandparents, the whole family.”
Carter said the event was a strong reminder for parents to find ways to communicate with children in case they are so upset that they try to run away from home.
“This could be one of your children,” Carter said. “Just make sure you speak to them and that you understand that if they try to do so, you would like to be able to dissuade them.”
Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram
James Hartley is a breaking news reporter for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He loves real stories, movies, baseball, and good hot tea. You can connect with James on Twitter @ByJamesHartley or Instagram @JamesTakesPhotos. Would you like reporters like James to help you keep up with the latest on your community? You can help Star Telegram keep delivering great local, business, political, athletic, and cultural news by purchasing a digital or print subscription today.