abc13 crew helps police track down missing special needs teen in Missouri City

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Reporter Kevin Quinn and photographer Anthony Reed were working on the story when Wilbur Rivera walked past them, and they notified authorities. (KTRK)

A 16-year-old boy with special needs is back home after running away from home.

Police issued a picture of Wilbur Rivera overnight after his aunt reported the teen had not returned home following school Monday. She told police he has autism and told us that he also has cognitive issues that have led to developmental delays.

"I would say he has a mind of like a 7-year-old, if that," said his aunt, Yesenia Gonzalez.

Despite efforts to locate Rivera in the Missouri City neighborhood where he lives with Gonzalez, they were unable to find him.

Just before noon Tuesday, Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Quinn and photographer Anthony Reed were working on the story and came across a boy in a dark-colored hoodie, walking alone, just two blocks from his home. The teen denied that he was the person in the picture released by police. He kept walking.

Quinn called police and sent investigators a snapshot of video Reed shot of the teen. Police confirmed that was, in fact, Rivera and swarmed the neighborhood. They located him less than a mile from his home, out side a donut shop and police substation. Rivera was unharmed.

Gonzalez says Rivera told her he ran away because he had been bullied by other students at school.

"I'm just glad that he's OK. I was just telling him, 'I was mad at you but I love you. I would always take care of you,'" Gonzalez said.

Rivera told us he spent the night in a park by his aunt's home.

Gonzalez says she is talking to school officials about ways in which the bullying can be stopped.

Related Topics:
autismteenagermissing childrenMissouri City
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