A 7-year-old boy who went missing from his Arlington Heights home was found safe Wednesday, but the circumstances of his disappearance were still unclear.
Derek Clay was last seen about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the courtyard of an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, where he lives with his grandfather and brother, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The grandfather, Donald Lewis, reported the boy missing around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when he was unable to locate him. He told reporters the child would often go to visit friends and return later, but this time, he never came back.
A frantic search ensued, but shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday, Los Angeles police announced that the boy had been found near Fifth and San Pedro streets, and was in “good spirits.” There was no immediate information available on how the boy got there, or who he was with when he was found.
But police said no foul play was suspected.
Lewis said he has had custody of Derek since October, and he also takes care of the boy’s older brother. He said Derek’s mother has visitation rights under supervision. Police said Wednesday they had located the boy’s mother and questioned her, but she was not suspected of being involved in the boy’s disappearance.
At one point in the search, police deployed bloodhounds while officers went door-to-door in the neighborhood.
Updated April 5, 2023, 9:31 p.m.