Mayfield Heights Police set up program to find those who wander

MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - A Mayfield Heights mother is working with police with a program designed to help with children who tend to wander.

"She's left three times. One time from home, twice from school," said parent Shari DeCarlo.

Her youngest daughter is 12, is autistic, has brain damage and ADHD.

"Twice we found her in the library. She said, mom I knew you'd come for me. One time she thought she saw a fairy in the woods and walked off to go find the fairy," DeCarlo explained.

She also has a history of wandering off, but can't comprehend dangerous situations.

"My daughter has no fear of traffic," DeCarlo said.

Which is why DeCarlo came to the Mayfield Heights Police Department with an idea for a new program to help those who tend to wander.

"It will show a picture of the person, it will give their information, their emergency contact information and any other pertinent information the officers need to be aware of," said Sgt. Anthony Mele.

They are hoping this program will add an extra layer of protection for families whose loved ones have wandered off, to help find them sooner and safe.

"It can be anything the family feels is necessary for us to know. It could be they are hard of hearing, it could be they are afraid of confined spaces, which would tell us we shouldn't put them in the back of the police car and transport them," Mele said.

Mayfield Heights residents can start signing up for the program on March 1st by stopping by the police department, or emailing information to A person can give as much or as little information as they want, and it all remains confidential.

"Now the police will know who she is, where she's supposed to be. I'd be able to pick up the phone and call and say my daughter is in this database and she's missing.  It's a huge relief," DeCarlo said.

Another great part about this program, is that it won't cost a dime to set up.

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