LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A Lafayette teen is back with his family after going missing for nearly seven hours Wednesday night. After returning, the teen said he was sleeping in a nearby school.
“Thank you very much. I didn’t know that you guys were really going to do all that, but thanks,” said 13-year-old Cole Faulkner.
Cole didn’t quite know the extent of the search going on after he went missing from his home on Cedar Court in Vinton Woods.
“It was really overwhelming the support that we got from the community search, looking for Cole,” said Elaine Anderson, Cole’s grandmother.
The search consisted of officers, medical helicopters, and several neighbors, including Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, his wife, and daughter.
“We began checking the neighborhood, down around the ponds, back in the woods. I went back through Tate and Lyle, around Kirby Risk. Places that I’m sure the police officers had checked too, but I also know on these situations, people sometimes, when they are running away or they’re scared, they’ll just hide,” said Roswarski.
Cole has Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a brain malformation. He’s a student at Tecumseh Junior High School. His family said he has the mentality of a seven or eight year old. While he was missing, Cole told News 18 he spent the evening sleeping in a classroom at Glen Acres Elementary School.
“When it got night time,I got tired and that’s when I went inside a teacher’s room and I layed down. That’s when I woke up and all the lights were off and the door was shut,” said Cole.
Cole was found unharmed less than two miles away after he walked up to a home in the 1100 block of Kensington Drive. His family is grateful for the help of the concerned community and even though he didn’t get to see the size of the search, he’s grateful too.
“I want to tell the police thank you, I want to tell everybody, everybody, the helicopters, the K9s, and tell them to give them a treat too,” said Cole.
Lafayette Schools Director of Elementary Education Karen Combs confirmed that Cole must have entered the school by a door that was not shut all the way. A custodian saw him and let him use the restroom. The custodian did not see Cole leave so he checked the restrooms and building, but never found him.