DISD Investigating After Autistic Boy Wanders 10 Miles Away From School

The Dallas Independent School District is trying to answer some tough questions after police say a 15-year-old autistic child walked off from school last Friday, unnoticed.

The Conrad High School student was found about 10 miles away, near Skyline High School.

Maria Almarza said she got the call around 3:30 p.m. April 18 asking if she had picked up her son. He's moderately autistic and is unable to communicate like a 15-year-old.

Almarza, who asked that we not reveal the child's name, only speaks Spanish, so a fellow mother is translating for her and serving as an advocate.

"Nobody was able to give them any answers, people were scrambling, didn't know where he was," said Zahra Darwish.

Almarza and her husband rushed to the school where they discovered surveillance cameras showed the boy walking off. Officers from both the Dallas Police Department and Dallas ISD Police Department set out to find him.

"When she thinks back about this day and when it was happening, these were probably the hours most difficult in her entire life that she's ever had to deal with," said Darwish.

The family said the boy was found at about 7:30 p.m. that night near the intersection of Buckner Boulevard and Forney Road near Skyline High School.

"After walking 11 miles, his feet were full of blisters, and she sent me pictures. It was so sad to know he suffered this physical pain as well," said Darwish.

The district released the following statement:

"Conrad High School has met with parents and implemented changes to its procedures based on what we’ve learned thus far and we will continue to act accordingly to protect the welfare of our students, especially those who have special needs."

NBC 5 has learned Child Protective Services is also looking into the incident.

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