Mom shares story of cross country search for her son with special needs

Local

After a desperate search that had Tekeya Gibson crossing the country, she says her son Dewayne Williams was found alive – but not well. Tekeya spoke with NEWS10 ABC reporter Anya Tucker by phone.

“He was actually in front of an apartment complex lying on a bench out there alone. So it was heartbreaking to be honest with you to see him like that,” she told Anya.

It all began on January 11 when her 22-year-old son, who struggles with schizophrenia and autism, walked out of an Albany outpatient treatment facility. After Dewayne missed curfew, Tekeya asked around confirming that he had hopped on a bus in Albany.

Greyhound personnel told her Dewayne had purchased a ticket to Los Angeles and that’s where she and other loved ones headed right away.

“We literally hit the streets. The Greyhound manager [in Los Angeles] looked through the cameras with us. And he [Dewayne] got off the bus,” said Tekeya.

His mom and other determined family members grabbed the attention of KABC which covered the story showing them handing out fliers and talking to anyone who may have seen Dewayne. Tekeya’s worries were compounded by a past incident when Dewayne ran off to Atlanta and was found days later severely beaten.

“It was horrifying because not only had he been injured, but his mental illness was presenting at the same time,” said Tekeya. 

Her worst fears subsided when the search in California came to an end. She says a woman whom they had befriended there spotted her son and then called the police and Tekeya.

“I am just extremely relieved and grateful.”

She says her son is receiving treatment at a facility in California while they figure out how and when they can take him back to Albany.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Click Below to set up your cable box

Coronavirus Outbreak

More Coronavirus Outbreak

Classroom Progress Report

More Classroom Progress Report