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Missing Spring Lake boy found

Posted February 4, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— After an hourlong search Wednesday, Cumberland County authorities found a 5-year-old boy who had disappeared from a school bus stop.

Zecharigah Manuel Akins was found at a friend's home at about 12:30 p.m., said Debbie Tanna, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Zachariah Akins, missing from Spring Lake bus stop Five-year-old goes missing from bus stop

The boy was waiting at a bus stop near the intersection of Odell Road and Verlie Drive at about 7 a.m. Wednesday morning when he disappeared, Tanna said

His mother, Victoria Akins, said she sent him to the stop, not knowing that schools had been delayed two hours because of the weather.

"I was sick this morning, so I told him to go ahead," Akins said. "He scared me."

Cumberland County Schools has an automated phone message that goes out to all parents when classes are delayed or closed because of bad weather. Officials at Manchester Elementary School said Akins had changed her phone number and didn't notify them of the change.

Akins said she went home sick from her job at a nearby Hampton Inn at about 9 a.m. and noticed school buses on the road. She called authorities when she realized her son never arrived at Manchester Elementary School, which is about 1½ to 2 miles from their home.

"There goes my heart. I just fell down," she said about hearing her son wasn't in school. "I'm glad he's OK."

Zecharigah was alone at the bus stop and was cold and tired of waiting for the school bus, so he walked to a friend's home to warm up.

"I (went) to Daniel's house (to) use the bathroom (and) have a snack," he said, adding that he and his friend were "playing swords."

Akins said she plans to keep a closer eye on her son.

"He's not going to be outside riding the bike," she said.

98 Comments

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  • mys1983 Feb 5, 2009

    Okay... I'm glad they added the rest of this to the post. I take back part of my previous comment, she made an honest mistake

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Feb 5, 2009

    For the love of God people!!!!!!!!! Most of us trapsed out to the bus stop in our youth and guess what? We're all still here. Cut the umbilical cord and realize that you can't watch your child every second of every day.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 5, 2009

    TO MUCH STUFF HAPPENS AT SCHOOL BUS STOPS THESE DAYS NOT TO HAVE SOMEONE WATCHING.
    wmlamm

    Absolutely. A responsible parent would take all precautions. Well said.

  • wmlamm Feb 5, 2009

    THE MOTHER SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH CHILD NEGLECT. NO FIVE YEAR OLD SHOULD BE WAITING ALONE AT A BUS STOP. I MADE SURE MY CHILD HAD A PARENT OR GRANDPARENT WITH HIM AT THE BUS STOP UNTIL HE WAS ABOUT 10YRS OLD. THEN THERE WAS A PARENT WATCHING THE BUS STOP FROM THEN ON. TO MUCH STUFF HAPPENS AT SCHOOL BUS STOPS THESE DAYS NOT TO HAVE SOMEONE WATCHING.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 5, 2009

    I see no problem with a 5y.o. at a bus stop alone.

    Apparently, you have no children or they are grown up. Nevertheless, 5 years old was to young to be left alone. The mother was not responsible as you are sounding. If it was no problem in leaving this young 5 year old alone, then please explain why all the commotion concerning this?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 5, 2009

    I see no problem with a 5y.o. at a bus stop alone. I walked a 1/2 mile all through elementary school. The real problem is parents coddling their "babies' and driving them everywhere (in their SUVs) because it's "cold outside", "scary outside", or just "outside".

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 5, 2009

    There is nothing wrong with a 5 year old waiting for the bus alone IMO if the bus stop is close to his/her house or there are other kids there.

    If your child ever goes missing for a short moment, only then you will wish you never made the above comment. That's to young at 5 years to leave a child alone at a bus stop. Even if there are other young children, there should be adult supervision.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 5, 2009

    He's not going to be outside riding the bike," she said.

    Oh, please! The mother should be punished too. She was not a responsible parent at all. I would never have left a 5 year old at a bus stop, regardless of illness. I am glad the young man is back home and safe.

  • TheAdmiral Feb 4, 2009

    Where was the Amber Alert? I thought that this is what the system is for, not the abuses over a stubbed toe.

  • S82R Feb 4, 2009

    While it may be hard for some of you to believe some of us actually expect our children to grow up and take care of themselves, and the sooner that happens the better off we ALL are. The only problem I see here is that mom didn't know about the delay and hadn't updated her phone number with the school. There is nothing wrong with a 5 year old waiting for the bus alone IMO if the bus stop is close to his/her house or there are other kids there.

    Seriously folks- we wonder why teenagers today feel no responsibility for anything- it's because of parents that never expect them to grow up and protect them from everything.

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