Missing 12-year-old found safely after search

(Photo: Pawtucket Police Department)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – A 12-year-old child was located safely Saturday afternoon after being missing for most of the day.

Jeremiah Varkpeh was last seen at about 6:30 Saturday morning when he walked away from his home.

He was described as 5 feet tall and about 120 pounds, and was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt, khaki shorts, and blue sneakers.

Varkpeh has Down syndrome, and was confused when he got dressed for school this morning and left his grandparents’ home in Central Falls while his grandfather was still asleep.

Det. Sgt. Christopher Lefort of the Pawtucket Police Department told Eyewitness News that Varkpeh was last seen in the area of Dexter Street heading towards Central Falls.

Pawtucket Police, along with Central Falls Police, family, friends, and some of his teachers, searched the area for him.

“Central Falls, like I said, it’s one square mile, but when it comes to something like this, we all pull together,” teacher’s assistant Teri Rodrigues said. “It’s a strong town with a big heart.”

Police announced a few minutes after 4 p.m. that he had been located safely in Central Falls.

Eyewitness News had just finished speaking with the child’s mother when she got the call from police, notifying her Varkpeh was found, and was safe.

“You found him? Where? Where? Where? Where? Where? I’ll be right there,” said Varkpeh’s mother, Nmonjay Kai, at the good news.

“I’m numb,” said Kai. “I’m numb, I don’t even know how I feel.”

Kai sped off to Central Falls police headquarters where she and Varkpeh were reunited, with Eyewitness News cameras rolling, nearly ten hours after he was last seen.

Police have not yet released any specifics on where and how Varkpeh was located.