27-year-old man with autism found safe after going missing

Posted at 1:03 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 21:51:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 27-year-old man with autism went missing from his Madison home, but was found a day later by NewsChannel 5 reporter Kelsey Gibbs.

Metro Police officials said Shaquille Sanford walked away from his Chadwell Drive home between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

His family called police at 8 p.m. after they couldn't find him. Officers searched throughout the night without success, according to police. However, there was a possible sighting by a citizen near the Madison Library at 5 a.m.

Police said Sanford is non-verbal and unable to care for himself.

But Gibbs spotted him walking down 12th and Broadway Wednesday night.

"I told my friend to look at our website because I think that’s a missing person," Gibbs said. "I jumped out of my car and asked him his name, and he said Shaquille."

Gibbs' friend called 9-1-1. She waited with him for a while, but he ran off before police arrived. But that's when Gibbs made sure to follow him.

"My friend kept calling and I kept chasing," Gibbs said. "I have a 31-year-old brother with autism so I was determined."