Carson City Boy Walks 15 Miles, Found Safe
Carson City Deputies say Brendan Hobbs was found safe by Reno Police on Thursday morning.
Carson City Deputies say Brendan Hubbs-Whitney was found safe on Thursday morning. Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong says the 11-year-old boy walked from his south Carson City home to the Chocolate Nugget in Washoe Valley. That is approximately 15 miles away.
"It appears he spent the night in Washoe Valley at about the midway point from Carson to Reno," Furlong said. "He said he slept in a shopping cart."
Furlong says a passerby was on her way to work when she spotted the boy at about 7:30, Thursday morning. She took him with her to work in Reno, where she called RPD.
"Physically, he was in good condition but he was damp, he was tired, didn't get a whole lot of sleep, and I think overall a bit frightened," Furlong said. "It was fantastic to see the family and the boy. It was wonderful to get a chance to sit down with him."
Furlong says the boy got into trouble at Carson Middle School and that carried over when he got home.
"He just had enough of stress and had that critical blowout and just walked away," Furlong said.
Furlong says he left his house around 2:30 pm, Wednesday and his parents searched for him until about 6:45 when they called the Carson City Sheriff's Office. They did not think the boy was abducted but thought it was a runaway case.
"We really did anticipate he would pop up either in our search or just return home but as darkness came on us, our concern levels were going up very high," Furlong said.
Deputies and the Search and Rescue Team, along with neighbors looked for Brendan, knowing the cool, wet weather could take its toll on the boy.
"Hypothermia was a topic that we were discussing, last night, and real concerned about his welfare," Furlong said.
Brendan told deputies that he avoided Interstate 580. He says he walked on the west side of Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, then followed Old Highway 395 until he reached the Chocolate Nugget, which he says has been partially verified by witnesses.
"Folks that have been able to contact us and say 'Hey, I saw him at this point' which reinforces the story or the information that the child has been providing for us," Furlong said.
Furlong says that while this incident ended well, there are some lessons to be learned. Especially, when it comes to children and how they react to stress.
"The children cannot just hold it inside," Furlong said. "They need to talk with their parents, talk with their school educators, talk to an officer. We have officers in all of our schools. Talk with them. Don't bottle it up inside."