NYPD Bloodhound 'Angel' Tracks Down 15-Year-Old Using Scent From Boy's Shirt

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An autistic teenager went missing for several hours on Monday. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.

Joshua, a 15-year-old, told CBS2’s Alice Gainer he couldn’t remember how he finally made it home to St. Marks Avenue in Brooklyn.

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“He never did this before, like I said. It was like just terrifying,” said Robin Charles, the teen’s sister.

His sister said Joshua snuck out of the home and onto several buses trying to go visit a friend, getting lost in the process.

“He’s high-functioning autistic,” Charles said.

One neighbor was outside when the teen’s mother frantically went looking for him.

“Majority of the people just started looking around the park and so forth just to see if they bump into him or not,” neighbor Jimar Harry said.

NYPD Officer Manuel Orellana and his bloodhound “Angel” were deployed to assist in the search about two hours after Joshua was reported missing, using a piece of the teen’s clothing.

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Angel sniffed Joshua out just as they spotted him making his way back home on St. Marks. So, though Joshua finally found his way home on his own, Officer Orellana said he’s happy knowing the nearly 2-year-old bloodhound can effectively find what she’s told to look for.

“I presented her the shirt and she actually did a track from the scent from the shirt,” Officer Orellana said.

The scent took the dog from St. Marks to Kingston, then to Bergen and then to Brooklyn Avenue and back to St. Marks, making a big loop, Gainer reported.

“In total she took about 45 minutes,” Officer Orellana said.

And had Joshua not found his way, Officer Orellana said he is confident Angel would’ve caught up to him.

“I know she did her job. She pretty much led me to him,” Orellana said. “I asked him if he could pet her and he actually did. That’s what she wanted.”

As for the family reunion, Joshua’s sister said, “He gave me a hug, which was like one in a million chance I’m gonna get a hug from him. So he understood what happened.”

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And the family said they’ll take precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen again, Gainer reported.