MEPSAR program helped in tracking down missing 11-year-old boy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – With help from other first responders and the latest technology, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was able to track down a missing 11-year-old boy Tuesday.

“Today was successful. We got it done pretty quickly,” said Derek Boucher, with JSO’s Missing Persons Unit.

Boucher said finding the child involved multiple teams and finding any clues as quickly as possible. In this most recent case, the child was seen on camera and police were able to track his steps.

“We had a confirmed sighting of the 11-year-old yesterday. We got that from a real-time camera,” Boucher said. “So we knew which direction he went.”

Part of the success involves collaborating with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department in the MEPSAR (Missing Endangered Persons Search And Rescue) program.

During the search, there are two phases. In phase one, units are called in — and JFRD also helps with the search. Drones and K-9s can also be used.

In phase two, there’s a detailed ground search and other resources are put to work.

The 11-year-old was found hiding when police located him. It’s unclear exactly where he was found, but the Sheriff’s Office said he was safe.

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