Arlington police find missing 9-year-old, say he ran from home

Trey Ossenkop, 9.
Trey Ossenkop, 9. Arlington Police Department

A 9-year-old boy who went missing on Friday was found alive and well Saturday afternoon on the Bowie High School campus, Arlington police said.

Trey Ossenkop had last been seen Williams Elementary School, in southeast Arlington, near Green Oaks Boulevard and Matlock Road, about noon Friday.

Police said he ran away from home.

The boy’s discovery capped an intense search throughout the area overnight and into the late afternoon Saturday.

A search party as large as 77 people who combed the area through the night Friday grew to more than 150 on Saturday, many forcing their way along an overgrown creek bed near Fitzgerald Elementary School looking for clues, said Lt. Chris Cook, a police spokesman.

“The outpouring of support was just amazing,” Cook said. “They passed out fliers, they knocked on doors. So we’re grateful that they gave up their beautiful Saturday to come out and help us find this boy.”

Paramedics checked out Trey and said he was fine, but police decided to wait for Child Protective Services to visit with him before taking him home, Cook said.

“He ran away from home, ran away from school and ran away from police,” Cook said. “It seems like now it’s some defiance of authority. He’s just struggling with some issues. As far as wanting to leave home at 9 years old, obviously that’s not normal behavior. But he’s not in trouble with us at all.”

The sunny outcome of Trey’s disappearance gave special relief to those volunteers thinking about the tragic death of a 10-year-old Tyler girl, whose body was found exactly a week earlier in a well after she was abducted from the family church in Cherokee County. A family member has been charged in her death.

“I know that weighed on several volunteers’ minds,” Cook said. “And I also believe that people were just genuinely concerned because of his age.”

He said detectives assigned to the Police Department’s children’s unit interviewed Trey’s mother and other family members.

Police first got involved about noon Friday after a phone call about a child walking near Williams school, in the 4900 block of Red Birch Drive. The school’s principal recognized Trey and called police and the boy’s parent.

Before officers arrived, Trey had walked into a wooded area in the 400 block of Embercrest Drive.

Cook said Trey spent Friday night at a friend’s home, while the search for him was underway. On Saturday, the friend’s mother saw news that he was missing, and she called police.

“She didn’t know he was missing, so he was not roaming the neighborhood [Friday] night,” Cook said.

Saturday afternoon, neighborhood friends saw him and called out to him, and he ran from them. Shortly after, he turned up at Bowie High School. “Security was able to grab him because they knew we were looking for him,” Cook said.

Trey told police he went to watch some friends playing football on the campus.

Robert Cadwallader: 817-390-7186, @Kaddmann_ST