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Missing 11-year-old Dallas boy found safe in city’s Mountain Creek area, police say

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

The child, who had been missing since early Thursday, was found in the garage of a home not far from his own, a department spokesman says.

Police
File photo.(Irwin Thompson / Staff Photographer)

By Aria Jones

An 11-year-old Dallas boy who went missing early Thursday in freezing temperatures wearing only shorts and socks was found safe Friday afternoon, police said.

Upon hearing a noise about 2 p.m. in his garage in the city’s Mountain Creek area, a homeowner flagged down police outside, believing a burglar could be inside, Dallas police Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a department spokesman, said at a news conference. Traveon Griffin had been hiding inside, Mitchell said.

Traveon disappeared early Thursday after becoming upset and running away from home, Mitchell said. The boy lives in the 5900 block of Naravista Drive, between Belt Line Road and Mountain Creek Parkway.

“We didn’t want to leave any stone unturned,” Mitchell said. “So, we were out here knocking on doors, knocking on doors again, and again, and again, just to see if we could find him.”

Police had been to the house where Traveon was found about a half-dozen times, he said. The home is in the 8400 block of Winecup Ridge Drive, less than half a mile from where he was last seen.

Traveon was still only wearing his black shorts, but he looked unharmed, Mitchell said. Dallas Fire-Rescue evaluated him, and he was taken to a nearby hospital for a more thorough medical check.

Mitchell said police found no evidence of foul play.

The homeowner told police they’d left the garage door open at some point Thursday, so it’s possible Traveon had been hiding in there the whole time, Mitchell said.

Police said that when the officer got there, he saw the boy walking from the garage into the house. Mitchell said the homeowner gave him clothes, food and something to drink.

Another child who knows Traveon lives at the home, but Mitchell said it’s unclear whether that child had been hiding the boy and said the parents didn’t know that he was in the garage.

When police asked Traveon how long he’d been in the garage, he told police “I think all night,” Mitchell said.

Traveon Griffin
Traveon Griffin(Dallas Police Department / Dallas Police Department)

“He still might not be certain how long all night is, but we’ve been out searching for him for a long time,” he said.

Mitchell said that as a father, he can’t blame anyone, and that “kids are going to be kids sometimes.” Traveon and his mother were crying, and everyone was happy to be reunited, he said.

“Today is a good day,” Mitchell said.

He applauded the police, volunteers, and others from the community who worked day and night to find Traveon.

“This is the kind of result we were looking for,” Mitchell said. “Their tireless effort just cannot be rewarded enough, but that’s what it’s all about — police and community working together.”

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