Missing Westford special-needs student found safe
WESTFORD, Mass. (WHDH) -- A special-needs student went missing from Westford Academy for hours Thursday. Her disappearance led to canceled classes and a massive search around the school.
“In consultation with the police chief we thought it was better to release students early, have the building cleared so we could check the facility easier,” said Westford Public Schools Superintendent Everett Olsen.
Rebecca Campbell, an 18 year old with Down syndrome, disappeared between her first two classes.
Police searched the school, the campus grounds and surrounding areas looking for Campbell. Helicopters flew above the area and extra crews were brought in, including canine units, to comb the extensive woods nearby. Students were dismissed and every car that left the school was checked.
“There have to be 100 people here right now searching the community on ATVs, searching old railroad track lines, searching wooded areas,” said Olsen.
Eventually a driver spotted Campbell on Starr Circle, a few streets away from the school, and called police. Police and Campbell’s mother raced to the scene. Campbell returned home with her family.
Police are still investigating why 18-year-old Rebecca Campbell was off the school’s campus Thursday. Nothing suspicious is expected.
School will be open as usual Friday. Graduation is set for this weekend.