Strangers find boy wandering on Westheimer; reach out to social media to locate family


by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 11:00 PM

HOUSTON -- A team effort saved a lost boy who was spotted running alone down Westheimer Road on Saturday night.

Becci Hannigan was vacuuming out her car and looked up to see the half-dressed boy.

"It took me a minute to realize something was wrong," said Hannigan. "It was just so out of place, a little boy with a shirt on running barefooted."

The boy, believed to be about ten or 11, was not slowing down.

Candace Johnson and her cousin saw the boy too and all three women joined in the chase but couldn't stop him before he darted into one of Houston's busiest roads.

"When he went out in the street, fortunately there were no cars coming."

The boy got back on the sidewalk and was eventually stopped by other drivers at Westheimer and Voss Road.

That's when everyone realized that he was unable to communicate.

"There was a Latino couple, there was an Arabic couple and everybody was trying to talk to him in a different language, thinking maybe he wasn't understanding us in English," said Hannigan.

Hannigan, who works as a nurse at Kingwood Hospital, believes the boy might be autistic.

Johnson posted a video of the boy on Facebook and others to spread it around.

It got more than 65,000 shares.

Hannigan called 911.

"Not only was I fearful for him because he was out here by himself but I was empathizing with the mother you know not knowing where her child is," said Hannigan.

The boy was taken to Texas Children's Hospital to be checked out and was quickly reunited with his family.

Houston Police say the moment he vanished, they alerted authorities and were frantically looking for him too.