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Lake Elsinore PD Responds Quickly to Report of Missing Autistic Teen

The teen was reported missing, and then found, within a 12 hour span.

Eric Ortiz Photo/Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.
Eric Ortiz Photo/Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.
An autistic teen from Lake Elsinore gave Riverside County Sheriff's Deputies cause for concern again this week, when he was reported missing for the second time since November.

Eric Ortiz, who "... has the mental alertness of 5-year-old," was reported missing late Sunday night, around 10:30 p.m., according to Sheriff's Lt. Zachary Hall.  

By 10:30 a.m. Monday, a Canyon Lake Police Officer spotted the man near the lake.

"As a precaution, he was taken to Inland Valley Hospital to be evaluated by medical staff," Hall said in a press release issued Monday.

Ortiz, who lives on Olive Street, had been the subject of a missing persons report back in November.  He was ultimately found in Perris, at a movie theater.

Prior to that incident, he had been reported missing and found on the I-15 freeway, officials said at the time.



AlwaysPO'd March 04, 2014 at 09:42 PM
Lets hear it for the caretakers. This isn't a dog folks. Watch those who should be watched. If you can't, then find safe accommodations for him. If you can't find safe accommodations for him, thank the ACLU.
busymomy1625 March 04, 2014 at 11:23 PM
I want to know how this kid gets around. The lake? The movie theater? The freeway? Long walks for this escape artist. GPS.
KELLY D. DIVINE March 05, 2014 at 04:40 AM
SINCE WE ARENT LIVING WITH ERIC WE SHOULD HAVE MORE COMPASSION FOR HIS PARENTS. ERIC IS AT A FIVE YEAR OLD LEVEL MENTALLY. I ALWAYS VOLUNTEERED AT MY CHILDREN'S SCHOOL AND THERE WERE PLENTY OF VERY CAPABLE FIVE YEAR OLDS, HOWEVER FIVE YEAR OLD CHILDREN DO NOT HAVE REASONING SKILLS. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED IN KINDEGARTEN, AT FIVE YOUR BRAIN IS READY TO LEARN HOW YOU LIVE IN THE WORLD AND FIVE IS A VERY INQUISITIVE TIME FOR BRAIN DEVELOPMENT. ERIC, HOWEVER LOOKS LIKE AN AVERAGE TEENAGER SO IM SURE HE GOES PRETTY MUCH UNNOTICED,THEREFORE HE IS ABLE TO WANDER FURTHER. I DO BELIEVE A CHIP IMPLANTED IN A PERSON IS AN EXCELLENT IDEA FOR THIS TYPE OF SITUATION. I WOULD OF HAD A DEVICE LIKE THAT IN MY CHILDREN IF IT WERE AVAILABLE. I SAY IMPLANTED BECAUSE A BRACELET OR SIMILAR DEVICE COULD BE REMOVED AND THEN IT IS USELESS. I LOVE HEARING HOW THE POLICE RESPONDED SO QUICKLY, IT DOESNT SURPRISE ME, IM SURE THEY SEE THE POTENTIAL OF SOMETHING REALLY BAD HAPPENING. POLICE AND SHERIFF DEPUTIES ARE ABOUT FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN. I WOULD VENTURE TO SAY THEY ARE COMMUNICATING WITH ERICS PARENTS ON HOW TO AVOID THIS. I HAVE A REAL PROBLEM WITH ANYONE THAT JUMPS ON THE BAND WAGON TO CONDEMN PARENTS OR CAREGIVERS THAT ARE DEALING WITH SOMETHING OUT OF THE NORM AND I WOULD HATE TO THINK THAT IF THIS HAPPENS AGAIN HIS PARENTS HESITATE TO CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE CRITICAL OF HOW THEY WATCHOVER ERIC. ERICS PARENTS PROBABLY DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS UNTIL HE IS RETURNED TO THEM. TO ERICS PARENTS I WANT TO SAY IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU THAT ERIC IS HOME SAFE AND SOUND AND I IMAGINE YOU THINK LIKE I DO, THAT THE LAKE ELSINORE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE THE BEST....AND THEY ARE
Nancy Welker March 05, 2014 at 03:27 PM
As a parent of an autistic son with elopement issues, there are so many things wrong with the criticism that it's hard to know where to begin. Autistic persons are very bright, and know when no one is looking. Whether it's in a home or school no one can monitor them 24/7. That's more like prison lockdown and who would want that for their child? GPS devices only work when the child has then with them. Good luck with that when they don't like it because they will remove it and toss it away or break it in a heartbeat. It's disappointing that anyone would jump to be negative given that there's s much in the news about autism and wandering problems. I'm sure that most people caring for autistic child who has elopement issues would agree that this can and does happen to anyone. No matter what. Kindly stop blaming parents for a problem that has baffled the medical community for decades and still does.
KELLY D. DIVINE March 06, 2014 at 01:24 PM
AMEN TO THAT NANCY. JENNIFER/MARTHA, I BELIEVE IF YOUR NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION, YOUR PART OF THE PROBLEM. ALWAYS POed...,,,PERFECT NAME FOR YOU I WOULD IMAGINE. LIFE IS WAY TOO SHORT TO BE MISERABLE.

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