Local News

Missing Orange County Child Found Safe

Posted March 25, 2008
Updated March 26, 2008

— A resident found a 2-year-old boy safe and sound about three hours after he was reported missing from his home in southern Orange County Tuesday night, ending an air and ground search happily.

Zandar McGhee, 2,  is autistic and went missing at about 7 p.m. Tuesday from Oak Crest Drive, southwest of Chapel Hill near the Chatham County line. He reportedly had been playing near a pond.

A resident found the boy just before 10:30 p.m. on Price Creek Road, west of his home and separated from it by thick woods. He was not harmed and was reunited with his mother.

Orange and Chatham county deputies and firefighters and the state Highway Patrol were searching for the boy when he turned up. A K-9 unit, a helicopter equipped with heat-detecting equipment, John Deere “Gator” off-road vehicles and night-vision equipment were called in for the search.

McGhee's parents said they each thought the other had Zandar until they found out neither did.

Area residents have called authorities several times about missing children since a 6-year-old boy in Durham slipped away from his father at a relative's house on March 16 and drowned in a half-filled swimming pool. Usually, the children have been found within minutes.


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  • avrecon Mar 25, 2008

    I hope they find him soon. As the parent of an autistic child, I've witnessed first hand the fascination with water. I almost had to tie my kid to the beach to keep him out of the ocean. No fear at all.

  • Carolina Girl 83 Mar 25, 2008

    So sad. Hopefully they will focus on lakes or nearby bodies of water--individuals with autism, for some reason, are often attracted to bodies of water. Many often drown as a result. I am hoping for a good outcome, though!

    P.S. WRAL needs to use person-first language. It is a child WITH autism, not an autistic child.

  • For-Better-Or-Worse Mar 25, 2008

    Dear Lord,

    Please bring this child home safe and soon.


  • Mom V Mar 25, 2008

    Just got a "code red" phone call from Orange county officails with info on this lost child. Said he was wearing an orange sweatshirt. Everyone keep their eyes open for this child. Praying for his safety return.