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Authorities locate missing 12-year-old

Joy Wang
April 22, 2017 12:03 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A 12-year-old boy with autism who went missing earlier this week is safe and authorities say he will soon be reunited with his family.

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Xander Mares' father, James Mares, said his son went missing Tuesday night. Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies made contact Xander Friday afternoon and confirmed he is physically okay.

James Mares said his son got in trouble on Tuesday. He thinks Xander decided to run away from home because he got embarrassed.

"He was being bullied for a while," James Mares said. "This time he did the bullying, got in trouble for it, and had to accept the consequences. Didn't know how to face it and ran away."

James Mares said his son Xander got into a fight at school Tuesday and was then suspended for three days.

"He's a pretty good kid," he said, "Sometimes he doesn't make all the right choices, didn't make the right choice this day."

That night, he says Xander went to bed at 8:30 p.m. The next morning, he was gone.

"This is the first time," James Mares said. "I don't know if this an attention-getting. I'll show you something. Kind of being hard on him when he got in trouble because you gotta be a parent, you know? Make sure they learn and grow up right."

Worried sick, the father has been posting online and sharing photos of Xander trying to get the word out. He said he was made aware of a Brittany Alert. Just like an Amber Alert, this notification gets sent out statewide specifically to report someone missing with severe physical, mental or developmental disabilities.

James Mares said Xander did call on Wednesday to say he was OK, but he hasn't heard from him since.

KOB has learned detectives have been on the phone with the child and he's OK but tells them he's afraid to go home.

"Just want to know where my son is, make sure he's alright," James Mares said.

Currently, detectives with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office do not believe Xander is in danger. They're actively investigating what happened.

Credits

Joy Wang

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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