CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A 12-year-old boy with autism was reunited with his Chesterfield family after a nine-hour search, Monday evening. Yurik Jones ran away from home, after getting off the school bus at 2 p.m.. Intensive police efforts to find the boy spread across Chesterfield, into Richmond.
Yurik Jones was finally recognized at the new Krispy Kreme off the Midlothian Turnpike. His family was unbelievably relieved and elated to have him in their arms, once again.
Jones's mother, Veronique Morris, says her son usually gets off the bus, just up the street from their home on Keswick Place. However, instead of going home, Jones decided to run away on a bicycle.
Morris didn't know when, or if she'd see her son again.
"That's all that matters," pled Morris through tears to our cameras, hoping her son could somehow hear her. "We want you home. That's all that really matters."
Jones is in middle school. However, Morris says her son has the mindset of a much younger child, because he has autism.
The family recently moved to Virginia from New York. Jones's sister, Kasia Morris, says Jones was punished at home for misbehaving. His mother had taken away a game from him. This triggered Jones to run away.
Jones's friend Deonte Wingfield, 13, says he watched Jones take an unusual path when he got off the bus.
"He was walking slow...like he was walking through the woods," said Wingfield.
Veronique Morris called police, after her son didn't arrive home. A massive search ensued, involving both day and evening crews of police, a K-9 unit, and a state police helicopter.
Jones was spotted in surveillance pictures at a nearby 7-11 store. He was riding a green bicycle.
Finally, after hours of desperation, a manager recognized Jones at the Krispy Krème. Jones had said he was lost. Police brought him home.
"We were all really hysterical. We were crying. It was a very emotional moment, because we had been looking for him all day. This is the first time something like this ever happened," said Kasia Morris.
Kasia Morris says her younger brother was upset upon returning home, but doesn't completely realize the seriousness of the situation. She says he's happy to be with his family again, and his mother will have an in depth talk with her son about the scope of the events, once he's at ease.
The entire family says they're extremely grateful for the unyielding determination of police in finding Yurik Jones.