ROCKWALL (CBSDFW.COM) – A kindergartner on his first day of school disappeared from Rockwall’s Shannon Elementary school Monday.
It led to a frantic search that ended when the boy, 5-year-old Derek Hood, was found at a local Boys and Girls club, but now the family wants to know how their son wound up at the wrong place.
Rockwall ISD, police, firefighters and neighbors searched for Hood for hours after he didn’t arrive at his after-school daycare, the Light House Private School.
It turns out Hood was on the wrong bus.
Derek’s dad, also named Derek, said the daycare called him at 3:30 after his son didn’t arrive. He says there was a lot of confusion. “People were telling us they had him. So we were running to the bus depot, back to the school, back to the Lighthouse, to another daycare center.”
Hood’s parents wonder why there was so much confusion. On their son’s backpack is a large name tag and the name of the school he was supposed to go.
His mother, Joycelin, said around 7 Monday night someone called a family member, saying their child saw Little Derek at the Boys and Girls Club.
The Hoods quickly reunited with their son, who didn’t understand what the fuss was all about. “He didn’t even know he was lost,” said Joycelin Hood. “He’s been there playing, eating. I was like ‘give me a kiss, give me a hug.’ He said, ‘okay, that’s enough. What’s the helicopter doing?’ I said “It’s looking for you!’ He said, ‘not really?’”
The Hoods say Derek will not be riding the bus anymore. Rockwall ISD apologized to the family, and says it is investigating what happened.
The district says the principal met with some staff at the school Monday evening to prevent another situation like this one from happening again.