2 missing endangered adults from Aurora found safe after help from community
AURORA, Ill. - A simple social media post helped police track down two missing and endangered adults in Aurora.
Now, the mother of one of the victims shares how the click of a button activated the entire community.
"They don't really understand danger. It was nightfall in Aurora and I was getting really worried," said Joni Augustine.
Her 32-year-old son, Branden, and a friend disappeared Monday evening from a group home for adults with Prader-Willi syndrome. The condition is a genetic cognitive disability.
"It's basically the brain tells the body when it's full and they don't have that switch so they would literally eat themselves to death if they weren't monitored," said Branden’s mom.
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As his mother raced to Aurora to look for her son, she made a Facebook post asking people to be on the lookout. It was shared more than a thousand times.
Then, Aurora police did the same thing.
"You see people really engaged, like ‘Hey I really want to be involved finding this person or kid’," said Officer David Guevara with the Aurora Police Department.
That’s exactly what happened. A woman called 911 and told them she recognized the pair and would follow them until police arrived. Branden and his friend were discovered nearly four hours after they went missing. They were safe.
The two had eaten at a restaurant, dined and dashed, since they didn’t have cash.
"The community was out looking for him and they found him and you just collapse at that moment because every second feels like a year that you don't have your eyes on your child," said Joni.
Police were thankful the social media post worked and people paid attention.