GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) – An 11-year-old boy missing in Grand Chute was found safe Tuesday night, almost eight hours after a massive search began.
Outagamie County dispatchers received a 911 call at 5:45 p.m. from a citizen saying they were with the missing boy and waiting with the boy on the grass at the intersection of North Casaloma Drive and North Victory Lane.
The boy was checked out by Gold Cross Ambulance and Grand Chute Fire first responders. He was cold but not injured and he was reunited with family Tuesday night.
The Grand Chute Police Department as well as Tupak’s family would like to extend their thanks to all the agencies that assisted today in the search effort for Tupak. Thank you as well to those who assisted in the search by sharing social media posts and thank you to the media for helping get the word out. Your efforts allowed for the safe return of Tupak.” – Statement from Travis Waas, Community Resource Officer, Grand Chute Police Department
The intersection where Tupak Kue was found is almost a two-and-a-half mile walk from where he was last seen, according to Google Maps.
He disappeared from his mother’s car in the north parking lot at Brewster Village nursing home around 10 o’clock Tuesday morning. Tupak was out of school sick, and his mother brought him along as she dropped off a job application.
Police tell Action 2 News the boy got bored waiting and decided to take a walk.
“Walked out into the woods a little bit, got turned around, and just kept walking, and finally made his way on out. Once he made his way out of the woods, he just kept on walking until he found a major road and kept following the road, and finally a citizen was able to find him,” Waas said.
The boy was last seen wearing a green winter jacket, a blue striped shirt, and green dinosaur pajama pants.
The temperature mid-afternoon was in the mid 40’s. StormCenter 2 meteorologists predict overnight temperatures around freezing.
“Time and weather are working against the child,” Grand Chute Assistant Fire Chief Michael DeBruler said as the search continued Tuesday afternoon.
They did not issue an Amber Alert because it didn’t meet the requirements.
According to Wisconsin’s Amber Alert website, the child must be less than 18 years old, authorities must have a good description of the child, suspect or the suspect’s vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast would help locate the child and there needs to be a strong belief by the law enforcement agency that the missing child has been abducted and is in danger of serious bodily harm or death
“The criteria for an Amber Alert is that the child has to be missing and endangered and that there has to be some type of reasonable belief by law enforcement that he was abducted. Unfortunately we didn’t have that belief that he was abducted, so we physically can’t issue an ambler alert. That is the criteria that they have and we have to follow it,” said Waas.
Rescuers weren’t sure how familiar the boy is with that area. DeBruler said they searched businesses and common areas.
“We’ve basically searched from Highway 41 east all the way to Lynndale Drive, and then from Wisconsin Avenue up to Northland Avenue we’ve searched,” DeBruler said.
Setting up a search grid was difficult because of a swampy area and a heavily wooded area.
As many as 60 first responders were involved in the search from Grand Chute Police, Grand Chute Fire, Appleton Police, Outagamie and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Offices, Wisconsin State Patrol, Outagamie County Emergency Management and the Community Emergency Response Team.
Police K9s are out but we’re told their abilities were hampered by the windy and wet conditions. Fire/Rescue says a horse patrol also joined the search with four horses.
Authorities suspended the search at sundown with plans to resume the search once it was light out again.