NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A boy reported missing in Brooklyn on Monday afternoon has been found safe, but it was still quite a dramatic day for the 11-year-old.
Michael Akindipe missed his school bus and his family members were left in a panic.
It was a call no parent wanted to receive from school.
“They couldn’t find Michael at school today,” Olujoke Akindipe, Michael’s mother, told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “I checked everywhere. I couldn’t find him.”
Police put the 11-year-old’s picture out on social media and the family’s panic set in.
Michael’s older brother, Isaac, said he didn’t know what to do.
“I called my brother … He said mom is not alright, she’s crying and she’s sad,” Isaac said.
Achievement First East New York Middle School was also part of the search, saying, “We are all very worried, but also hopeful for Michael’s quick and safe return.”
In the meantime, Michael’s mother was out in the neighborhood, going store to store, showing people pictures of her son to ask if they’d seen him. When she got a laundromat, her prayers were answered.
Surveillance video from about 40 minutes before she arrived shows Michael wandering into the laundromat with his backpack on. He pulls up a chair before his mom walks in and sees him sitting there.
“I ask him, what happened? Why did you do this to me?” Olujoke Akindipe said.
It turns out, Michael missed the bus to school. He tried to take a city bus but got lost and spent hours roaming the streets, trying to find something that looked familiar.
“I was scared a little, but I knew eventually I was gonna get home,” Michael said.
He was always determined to get to school and didn’t want to get in trouble.
As they left the laundromat, his mom takes his hand and they walk home.
“I’m so happy right now,” Olujoke Akindipe said.
He now knows he should have called someone – an important lesson learned with the best possible ending.