Family says developmentally disabled teen found safe

Family says developmentally disabled teen found safe

EUGENE, Ore. -- The family of a developmentally disabled 15-year-old said he's been found safe after he went missing Saturday afternoon.

Shai Jackson was found safe and united with his family, Springfield Police said.

Shai Jackson's grandmother said he was found at the IHOP near the Gateway Mall in Springfield late Saturday night by someone who had heard he was missing through a news report.

Shai went missing at around 2:45 p.m. Saturday near the Westmoreland City Park at 2270 Fillmore St. in Eugene.

The grandmother told our reporters that Shai is developmentally delayed and has a profound language and articulation disorder. She said Shai can't ask for help or tell anyone he's lost.

Shai, who used to live in Aloha, Ore., was reported missing in July of 2013 and November of 2012.

A Statement from Shai Jackson's family: 

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our friends and neighbors, to Eugene and Springfield Police, and to those who triggered a news and social media response that I can’t even begin to describe.  We especially want to thank the individuals who alerted our family and the Springfield Police after seeing the news. We live in an incredible community in which we are all blessed that so many people are willing to get involved when circumstances require a helping hand.

One of the greatest fears of every parent or guardian is that someone who is in your care, whether a child or an adult, could wander away – especially someone who is unable to ask for help.  The outcome for Shai was positive because of the compassion of those who helped a kid who looked lost, the actions of family and friends who put up flyers, knocked on doors, and spread the word, and also because of the willingness of others who made a phone call instead of wondering if it was the right thing to do.

Our hope is that this can be a reminder for all of us to follow our instincts when faced with a situation that feels off.  If we’re asking each other if we should call someone – we need to answer ‘yes’ and make the call - without regret.