‘Critical missing’ 11-year-old boy found safe, police say


(DALLAS) — Dallas police said an 11-year-old boy who was missing for two nights and last seen wearing only shorts and socks during frigid temperatures has been found safe.

Traveon Michael Allen Griffin left his home in southwest Dallas early Thursday, around midnight, according to police.

“He may be confused and in need of assistance,” police said.

Police upgraded the missing person’s case Thursday to “critical” due to the “victim’s clothing attire and current below-freezing temperatures.”

Friday afternoon, police said in an update on social media that Traveon had been “located and he is safe.”

“Today is a good day,” Dallas Police spokesperson Sgt. Warren Mitchell told reporters during a press briefing.

Mitchell said around 2 p.m. local time Friday, a homeowner flagged down a police officer driving through the neighborhood about a suspected burglar in his garage. When the officer investigated, he found Traveon hiding inside.

The homeowner gave the child, who was still just in shorts, some clothes and food, and Traveon was transported to an area hospital for observation, police said.

It’s unclear how long Traveon had been in the garage, and if another child who lives at the home was helping hide him, Mitchell said. Officers had previously visited the home multiple times during their search for Traveon, he said.

“The parents did not know that he was inside the garage, and so we’re just thankful that we were able to locate him and that he appears to be safe,” Mitchell said.

Traveon left home following a “dispute” with a family member, according to Mitchell, but noted that “everybody’s glad to be back together.”

Since he was reported missing, police had been going door-to-door looking for Traveon, and were focused on a playground and pond near the child’s home. The department also had been searching with mounted and canine units, drones and a helicopter. Police said volunteers also had joined search efforts.

Police had said in an earlier update Friday morning that they’d found no new leads, though noted there was no evidence of foul play.

Officers additionally planned to visit friends’ homes and hospitals to search for Traveon, police told ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV on Friday.

“We will not leave any stone unturned,” Mitchell told WFAA-TV Thursday. “We will check every creek, every residence in this area, every alley, every backyard, until we can find him.

Mitchell had suspected the child might be trying to hide.

“But eventually, hopefully, we’ll be able to find him,” he said.

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