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Missing autistic boy from Chelsea found safe at Cambridge recreation center

Susant ThapaChelsea Police Department

An 11-year-old boy with autism who was reported missing in Chelsea Tuesday afternoon was found safe hours later in Cambridge at an indoor pool at the city’s public recreation center, law enforcement officials said.

Susant Thapa was located shortly after 7 p.m. at the center adjacent to Cambridge Rindge and Latin School on Cambridge Street, Chelsea Police Captain David Betz said in an email to the Globe.

Foul play is not suspected.

Thapa, who is nonverbal, was reunited with his mother In Cambridge. Police advised her to take him to a local hospital for evaluation, Beth said.

Massachusetts State Police, which was involved in the search, had issued a public alert that Thapa was drawn to swimming pools and asked residents of the Chelsea area to “check their pools and make sure there is no access to them.”


Thapa left his Chelsea home on Washington Street at about 2 p.m. He was last seen at 3:40 p.m. at an MBTA bus station at Garfield and Sagamore avenues, State Police said.

Betz told WCVB-TV that a resident at the recreation center spotted the boy and contacted Cambridge police. Officers contacted his mother via FaceTime and she was able to confirm his identity.

Video broadcast by WCVB showed the boy walking into his home with his parents. The parents thanked police and the public for helping to find their son.

It is unclear how the boy made it from Chelsea to Cambridge.

“Our belief is that he traveled to Cambridge aboard a bus,” State Police said.

Chelsea police are still investigating how Thapa traveled to Cambridge.

“Right now we believe that he ventured off in his own from the house and we are not able to confirm exactly how he made his way to Cambridge but that will be part of the follow up,” Betz said.


“We have no indication of any wrongdoing but we will again follow up with our wraparound services here at the [police department] and refer them accordingly,” Betz said.

Adam Sennott can be reached at adam.sennott@globe.com.