BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Police tell KSLA News 12 that Joseph Allen LaCour, a 14-year-old non-verbal boy with autism, has been found safe.
Bossier City police say Joseph was found by his godmother Rosalind Pollard. She says Joseph was walking along Meriwether Road near the intersection of West 70th Street just south of the Shreveport Regional Airport. Pollard had just left her residence when she saw Joseph walking by himself along the road.
"As I'm backing out I just said 'Lord, I don't know which way we're going, I don't know where I'm going. Just lead and guide us'" says Pollard. "He was just walking and he wasn't shaking. He wasn't shivering. He wasn't weak. He was just walking. He looked, he stopped and I was able to put my hands on his face. He's very standoffish and I was able to bring him into me and I said 'let's call mommy right now. Let's call her, she's looking for you' and he said 'mommy, poppy' and the ball of emotions was just there."
"We and his parents are thrilled, we just thank God," said Patricia LaCour, Joseph's aunt after driving Joseph home from a hospital visit.
Police say Joseph walked all night and wound up about 15 miles away from his home because he wanted to go to his family's church. Authorities say Joseph was upset that his family wasn't able to attend services Sunday and he left his home on his own so he could go to church.
"He wanted to go to church, he wanted to go to Papaw's, yes he wanted to do both of those things. And normally every Sunday we go to church and we couldn't because I was ill," said Deysha LaCour, Joseph's mom.
When he was found, Joseph appeared to be very tired and hungry but otherwise unharmed. He was transported to a local hospital to be checked out as a precaution because of his exposure to frigid temperatures. In Shreveport Sunday night, temperatures reached a low of 27 degrees.
"He was so warm when I touched him. He bundled up so well. He had on a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt and then his jacket and a warm hat" recalls Pollard. "When I touched him, he just felt so warm. I'll never forget that."
Amazingly, Joseph was not injured and was released from the hospital.
Before his homecoming, Joseph told his parents he was hungry and wanted tacos, so they took him to get tacos. According to his parents, he did not want to let go of his mother's hand.
The Louisiana State Police and the Bossier City Police Department spent Sunday afternoon into Sunday night and Monday morning searching for Joseph.
"I can't believe that I was the one who found him but all glory goes to God because I prayed and he delivered" says Pollard.
The Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office, Bossier City Fire Department, Louisiana State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office and the United States Marshal's Office helped in the search efforts along with family and friends including the Word of God Ministries.