Sunday, April 20, 2014
   
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CodeRED system activated, missing youngster found

Police, fire fighters search for child who left home voluntarily.

Gothenburg residents were most likely surprised Monday night to receive a call about a missing 11-year-old boy.

After about three hours of searching in bitter cold temperatures, local police chief Randy Olson said the Dudley Elementary fifth grader was found by a fire fighter near his home in the 900 block of 22nd Street.

Because of single-digit temperatures, blustery winds and snow, Olson said he decided to activate the CodeRED system to alert everyone in the city about the missing youngster.

Olson said the boy, Dakota “Cody” Deepe, was discovered by a fire fighter.

“We think he was hiding in the area,” he said, noting that Deepe was spotted leaving an area around the hospital.

Despite not wearing a hat or gloves, Olson said Deepe had no visible injuries from the cold after he was checked over by fire fighters.

Olson said Deepe departed from his home after a fight with his mother who called police at 7:15 p.m.

Police searched places that were open in town such as the school, library, churches and businesses and, at 8:30 p.m., called the local fire department.

Olson activated CodeRED because it was night and temperatures were bitterly cold.

“It puts out an extra pair of eyes because it’s possible someone will recognize the child,” he said, noting that the police department fielded several calls from residents who thought they spotted the missing child.

An Amber Alert was not issued because Olson said it didn’t meet the criteria of an abduction and that a child be at risk for serious bodily harm or death.

“I never suspected a kidnapping based on the way he left the house,” he said.

Had Deepe been missing much longer, Olson said he might have called in volunteers and set up a formal search party.

Missing-person searches the last few years involving the police department, Olson said, include a boy found at a friend’s home and an elderly person with Alzheimer’s Disease who was discovered sleeping in an unlocked home.

Olson said Monday night was the second time CodeRED has been used for another purpose than weather.

A couple of weeks ago, he said the emergency notification system was used to

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