Search teams face special challenges in search for missing 9-yea - WNEM TV 5

Search teams face special challenges in search for missing 9-year-old boy

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DAVISON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Finding children who are missing for days is a difficult task. But the search for the missing 9 year-old, Omarion Humphrey, affectionately called “Mars,” had even more challenges.

“We're not going to rush up on him, we're talking to the family learning what this kid's buttons are so to speak,” said Lt. Jay Rendon, Davison Township police.

Mars is autistic. Experts say he gets scared easily of the world beyond his comprehension.

The family told police that Mars likes to curl up in small spaces when he’s scared.

That’s why a team on foot would be better at finding him than a helicopter.

Rendon says the search crew is using many different resources in their search. They’re also being extra cautious because they fear Mars could run in fear upon seeing rescuers.

 “With other kids usually if you tell them to stop, they'll stop,” Rendon said. “We're looking for you in a police uniform usually the kids will trust the police. But this kid doesn't comprehend with his disability. He can't function to put things together and almost be in a panic state.”

The search team has prepared a tactic to lure Mars in, so he doesn’t run away. For example, if a child like a certain type of food, they’re probably hungry after being lost, and will follow the food.

Rendon said Mars likes technology. The search team hopes showing him gadgets would help gain his trust.

“One thing we did do is get a voice recording of his mother and we're going to play that over a megaphone in case he recognizes it and will come out,” Rendon said.

Rendon said the key to finding a child with autism is learning about them – including their habits and interests.

“The goal is to find the child. We want to find him soon,” Rendon said.

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