Monday, September 7, 2009

Autistic North Hardin student found “safe and sound” early this morning

A citywide search for an autistic North Hardin High School student yielded results early Saturday morning.

Sharon Kiely, 15, was found around 12:25 a.m. behind Meadow View Elementary School, Radcliff Police Department spokesman Bryce Shumate said.

“She was safe and sound, no injuries,” Shumate said, adding she was just “tired and hungry.”

Kiely went missing early Friday afternoon from the grounds of the school after last being seen in a restroom. Shumate said police believe she wandered away from the school and do not suspect foul play. The girl has a history of hiding inside the school, Shumate said Friday, and does not verbally communicate with others.

Kiely’s disappearance led to a massive search that spanned more than 10 hours, with both police and fire departments responding from all over the county. Bloodhounds also were employed.

In addition, Louisville Metro Police sent a helicopter for additional assistance, canine units from Jefferson County were dispatched and Kentucky Search and Rescue provided aid.

At one point, Shumate continued, there were about 80 responders searching for Kiely, working from a grid map of the city. The group was divided into teams and assigned to specific areas.

“There were teams literally all over Radcliff,” Shumate said.

Shumate said a search of this magnitude could not have been possible by Radcliff responders alone.

“I’ve never seen that kind of a community effort before,” Shumate said.

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