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Desperate race to save autistic boy, 9, up to his neck in mud as tide comes in

A 9-year-old boy is alive thanks to the heroic efforts of several police officers. 

On Saturday, around 3:45 p.m., police were dispatched to a home on Billows Drive in East Greenwich, New Jersey. When they arrived, they learned that a 9-year-old boy with autism had wandered from the home in an unknown direction around 3:30 p.m. East Greenwich police, along with the police departments, fire departments and emergency crews from neighboring towns began to search for the boy.

After searching for about an hour and a half, police and K9 units found the boy several hundred yards behind his home stuck in the Mantua Creek during low tide. The boy was about a quarter mile away from the shoreline and was submerged up to his neck in mud in extremely cold temperatures. Police say the boy was within several minutes of drowning due to the tide coming in.

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Police officers quickly took action and ran into the creek. At one point, investigators say the officers became submerged in the mud and water as well but managed to free themselves and get to the child. The boy was eventually freed and carried safely to land. The child was not seriously hurt and was reunited with his father after being treated at the hospital.

“The officers did an excellent job and are credited with saving the child’s life,” said Lieutenant Charles Barone of the East Greenwich Township Police Department. “The only casualties were several destroyed police uniforms.”