Suffolk County

Missing child with autism found safe next to a pool in Cambridge, police say

CHELSEA, Mass. — An 11-year-old Chelsea boy who has autism and is non-verbal was reunited with his family Tuesday after an hours-long search.

“I am very happy,” an emotional Nanu Thapa said of reuniting with her son. “Thank you for the support. Everybody, the police team.”

Susant Thapa wandered from his Washington Avenue home around 2 p.m., before being spotted around 3:40 at an MBTA stop.

Especially concerning during the search was Susant’s love for water and his tendency to be drawn to pools. Police urged residents via social media to check their pools and restrict access to them as first responders checked nearby bodies of water.

Nearly five hours after he left home, the boy was found inside the War Memorial Recreational Center in Cambridge, near the indoor pool. Someone at the facility called police who arrived and confirmed with the mother by a picture via phone it was her son.

Susant’s mother, Nanu Thapa, rushed to the facility and reunited with her son before he was evaluated for any injuries and safely brought home to join his father.

While it is unclear how Susant made it more than 4.5 miles from home, police were reviewing video to determine if he had boarded a bus to Cambridge.

“He is somewhat resourceful,” said Chelsea Police Capt. David Betz. “We aren’t certain if he did take a bus. We are going to follow back with the family and see how he may have gotten there.”

Susant’s father, Suraj Thapa, told Boston 25 News he worries about how to keep his son safe as he gets older and more interested in leaving the house.

“It’s very tough. I don’t know how I will take care of him for other days. He keeps getting bigger and bigger,” Suraj Thapa said, adding that he is thankful his son is home. “I am very happy to have found out that he is okay. I like to thank everybody.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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