Missing Millcreek disabled boy found in his own yard

Published: Thursday, Nov. 3 2011 9:52 a.m. MDT

Det. Shane Manwaring of Unified Police, right, answers media questions at the home of a boy who was missing, then found, in Salt Lake County, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

MILLCREEK — A missing disabled teen was found safe in his yard Thursday morning by news reporters.

Jordan Mark, 14, was last seen just after 10 p.m. Wednesday near 2400 East and 3300 South. Mark, who lost both legs at birth, was sitting outside in his wheelchair about 9 a.m. Thursday refusing to go inside his foster home, according to police.

His foster parents told officers that Mark had a court hearing earlier in the day that "didn't go so well." It was not immediately clear what the hearing was about.

When his father looked outside to check on him about 10:10 p.m. Wednesday, the wheelchair was still there but Mark was gone. One of the concerns for police was Mark was only wearing a hoodie and it was cold last night.

"The problem that we have is he is 14 years old, doesn't have any legs. ... He's wheelchair-bound, but when he does leave, he gets down and uses his arms and maneuvers, drags himself around," said Unified Police Lt. Manfred Lassig.

Mark was found about 9 a.m. Thursday by Deseret News reporters Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen who spotted him outside his home.

"I saw him in the bushes in front of his house. As I approached he went around the back of the house," Park said. She notified the boy's parents and police.

Investigators interviewed Mark who said he slept in a neighbor's yard and returned the next morning. The boy was cold but otherwise unharmed. He was given a sandwich and some hot chocolate, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. He told detectives he was mad about the way things went down in court earlier in the day and ran off.

Police say Mark has a history of running away, including already running away once before on Wednesday after his court hearing.

Mark was taken out of the house and placed in Salt Lake County Youth Services, Hoyal said. Youth Services typically houses juveniles who are having issues with their parents or guardians.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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