GREEN — A 2-year-old autistic boy who disappeared from his home for several hours was found safe Monday morning in a car inside a neighbor's garage.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office and other agencies launched a massive search for Kaven Fisher after he was reported missing at 1:30 a.m. Monday.

A neighbor found the boy, who is nonverbal, shortly before 9 a.m. in his garage. Authorities had asked neighbors to search their properties in case he was hiding.

Homeowner Ken Pownell said Kaven was awake and crying. The boy was barefoot and still wearing the gray shirt and red shorts that he was wearing when he was put to bed Sunday night.

Pownell said he heard news reports about the missing boy and had checked his garage earlier. He then decided to check again and heard Kaven crying.

"The Lord took it to my head to look again and he was in the back seat of the car," he said.

The retired neighbor added: “He must have been asleep when I looked earlier but I didn’t open the car door. I just looked inside and didn’t see him.”

There was a blanket in the back seat that Kaven used to keep warm. The garage is about 100 to 150 feet away from the boy's home.

The main garage door was closed and Kaven apparently entered through a side door.

"I'm happy he was found safe and sound," Pownell said. "There were a lot of people who put a lot of effort into this search."

Kaven's parents reported him missing after they went into his room to check on him and couldn't find him. A door to the home was open.

A person at the home late Monday morning identifying herself as a family friend said the boy was inside the house and safe. She said the family didn't want to talk to the media.

Kaven's father spoke with WJW (Channel 8).

"We are so grateful for everyone," he said. "We know people worked extra shifts. We know they dropped what they were doing. They came out to look for my boy. That means so much."

Sheriff's spokesman Bill Holland said the search involved more than 100 emergency personnel from multiple agencies, along with a helicopter, airplane, horse units and K-9s. The home, located near the intersection with Christman Road, is close to Nimisila Reservoir and the search area included the waterway.

“To find him safe and unharmed is exactly what we were looking for and I’m just happy for the family," Green Fire Chief Jeff Funai said.

Dr. Daniel Smith, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Akron Children's Hospital, said it's not uncommon for children and adolescents with autism to wander off because of a lack of awareness about their surroundings.

"The parents can often feel like it's their fault but it's not," he said.

 

Staff writer Rick Armon contributed to this report.