2-y-o escape artist sparks frantic hunt

IT IS the moment every parent dreads - when their child goes missing.

For a Norman Gardens mother it became a reality yesterday when her two-year-old son disappeared from their family home.

The mother, who did not want to be named, said it was the most distressing experience she has had as a mother. About 8am yesterday, she went to check on her son, but could not find him or the family german shepherd.

She said: "As soon as I discovered he was missing, I immediately called 000. Then I went to a few of the neighbours' houses and asked if they could help look for him.

"I was really lucky, we have some really nice elderly neighbours who came out and started searching straight away.

"I couldn't find the dog, so I thought that maybe my son had opened the side gate and followed him out.

"My heart has never skipped so many beats as those 15 minutes - it was the worst feeling.

"I was very distressed and after calling the police, it took us about 10 or 15 minutes to find him.

"Luckily, one of my neighbours found him down the street in an empty lot - he never even crossed the road.

"Our dog was circling around him; it was his natural instinct to protect him."

The distressed mother said while her toddler was "a bit of an escape artist", he had never gone so far from home. She said: "When he left, he was just wearing his pyjama top and a nappy and underwear over the top. I am just so relieved we found him so quickly. I also want to say that if other parents ever lose sight of their children, the first thing they should do is call 000.

"The response time of the police was very quick, and they were very reassuring. I've already put locks on the side gate."

The young escape artist will celebrate his third birthday today, in the safety of his mother's arms.

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