Family reunited after boy with autism goes missing at suburban mall

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A family was reunited Thursday night after a boy who is autistic went missing inside a large shopping complex in the suburbs.

8-year-old Brooklyn Venter went missing from an outdoor play area at Old Orchard Mall in Skokie around 1 p.m.

There was great concern for Brooklyn because he is autistic and his parents describe him as being “non-verbal”— he was not even likely to respond to his name.

At least seven different police departments were involved in the search and about 100 friends, family, and even teachers from Brooklyn’s school searched for him.

6 hours later he was located inside the L.L. Bean Store in a restricted area.




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