MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — A Milwaukee mother is livid that her 5-year-old son with autism was able to walk away from school. He was gone for about an hour and no one even knew he was missing until a stranger picked him up in a car.
"I can't believe my baby was out of the street and nobody had any idea that he was even missing," said the boy's mom Crystal Borzick.
Her son, Blake Greenley, made it to the middle of busy Mill Road near 87th when a stranger spotted him trying to cross.
"His face was red," said Karen Stacy. "He was very cold. He was crying."
Stacy said several cars slammed on their brakes when the boy darted across Mill Road to the median around 11 o'clock Thursday morning. She stopped and got out to try to find out what was wrong.
Greenley has autism and does not usually speak to strangers. Stacy finally got him in her car and called the police. She was shocked to find no one reported him missing so she posted his picture on Facebook while she waited for officers.
A friend of Borzick shared it with her on Facebook.
"That's the picture I got sent," said Crystal Borzick. "And as a mom, that made my stomach sink."
She frantically called his school, Bruce Elementary.
"Nobody even has an idea that my son is missing from the school," said Borzick.
Officers brought him back. When Crystal saw him she said she broke down.
"I cried," said Borzick. "I cried. I hugged him like I have never hugged him before. It was a relief sigh of relief, but it's also like I can't believe my baby was out of the street."
She said she was told by the school her son might have left after lunch and that his regular teacher was out and a substitute was teaching.
Milwaukee Public Schools gave a statement on the matter.
"We are grateful Blake was quickly found by a concerned community member and that he is safe. We are investigating this incident and, therefore, cannot comment further," said Andy Nelson, media manager for Milwaukee Public Schools.
"I have never been so scared in my life to know that anything could have happened to my child and nobody would have even known," said Borzick.
She said Blake will not go to school tomorrow and she is not sure when he will return.