Missing Autistic Boy Found Near Cottonwood

1/22/24

Law enforcement and fire personnel successfully located a 12-year-old autistic boy who went missing from the Black Canyon Day Use Area near Cottonwood Friday afternoon. According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, patrol deputies joined Cottonwood police officers, DPS state troopers, and firefighters from the Verde Valley Fire District in the search. During this time, the sheriff’s office received calls from the public saying they had seen a young boy near the river, but the locations were conflicting.

The DPS Ranger helicopter located the boy in a ravine near Thousand Trails and Highway 260 and guided YCSO deputies to his location. The boy was not injured, and the entire rescue mission took only two hours to complete.