Norwood teen with cerebral palsy found safe after chilly night

Posted at 11:49 AM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 17:46:27-04

NORWOOD, Ohio -- A 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy was found safe Wednesday morning after he spent a chilly night away from home.

Andrew Spencer, an eighth-grader from Norwood Middle School, ran away during after-school clubs at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Norwood police said.

Andy Combs, an employee of Central Railroad of Indiana, found the teen at about 11 a.m. Wednesday, Norwood Police Lt. Ron Murphy said.

"He was just walking down the railroad tracks," Murphy said. "They were doing their normal work, which is checking the tracks and things like that and looking at the cars and checking the cars for damage, and he said he heard a voice yelling for help."

Andrew Spencer was found in a wooded area near railroad tracks. Photo by Terry Helmer | WCPO

Another railroad employee called 911 and told the operator Spencer was talking, but couldn't walk.

"He said he's alright, he's just scared," the caller said.

Spencer was in some woods next to railroad tracks behind the old U.S. Playing Card building. That's about a mile from the school.

"He's on the tracks," the caller said. "I don't know if you guys can get a car to him, but we've got three guys walking back there now. Maybe they can pick him up, carry him to the street or something."

Medics took Spencer to a hospital to be checked out. Overnight lows dipped to between 27 and 29 degrees.

"We're just happy he's safe and we were able to find him, and I'm sure his mother and his family is happy and the whole city of Norwood really came together looking for this young man," Murphy said.