Missing Autistic Boy Found Alive in Virginia

Robert Wood Jr. missing since Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Eight-year-old Robert Wood Jr. is expected to stay in a Richmond hospital through the weekend. Friday night, some of those who spent days searching for him in the Virginia woods celebrated the good outcome. (Published Friday, Oct 28, 2011)

    A boy missing all week was found alive in Hanover County, Va., Friday.

    Eight-year-old Robert Wood Jr., who is autistic, wandered away while with his father, brother and a woman at North Anna Battlefield Park about 2:45 p.m. Sunday, police said.

    Missing 8-Year-Old Found in Virginia

    [DC] Missing 8-Year-Old Found in Virginia
    A boy who wandered away from his family in Hanover County Sunday was found Friday. (Published Friday, Oct 28, 2011)

    He was found by a citizen in what authorities called "somewhat of a gully" on quarry property about 2 p.m. -- not far from where he was last scene -- and flown to VCU Medical Center, where he was reunited with his family, WWBT NBC12 in Richmond reported. Authorities described his condition as serious, but he is expected to be OK.

    "He is here and safe," said his mother, Barbara Locker. "Thank you for your prayers, your thoughts. Thank you for searching. He is a strong little fella."

    "Robert is a very strong and determined little boy," said his father, Robert Wood Sr. "We never gave up hope that he would return home safe. The family has been here every hour and been involved in the search 200 percent. Thank you so much everybody. Robert Is home!”

    Robert's parents described him as severely autistic and unable to talk.

    Thousands of volunteers participated in the search this week, including more than 800 Friday.

    "The great dedication, optimism and vigilance of the many people who donated their time and energy to the search and rescue effort reflects the goodness of our commonwealth," Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "The actions of so many this week have demonstrated, yet again, that Virginians are good neighbors who care about each other and help those in need in times of trouble."

    A candlelight celebration was planned for 7:30 p.m. at the Doswell Community Center, WWBT NBC12 in Richmond reported.

    Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.