LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD)- If you have a loved one missing, just minutes can feel like an eternity. It's a bracelet with GPS technology designed to locate lost and wandering people suffering from mental disorders, and on Saturday morning it did just that. 15 year old Matthew Massey went missing and by Saturday evening he was at home, thanks to Project Lifesaver.
This morning Rhonda Massey went outside to check on her autistic son who was playing only to find an empty backyard. Matthew wears a bracelet equipped with a GPS tracking chip through Project Lifesaver. When she couldn't find him, Rhonda called Pilots of Lubbock to put the Lifesaver system to the test for the first time. "When he got back we asked him where he had gone and he said Detroit, Elgin, Canton, which are street nearby" Rhonda recalls. It turns out Matthew walked more than ten blocks before police found him at the corner of Indiana and 58th street.
The Pilots program's national success rate is perfect, 100% of people lost with a Lifesaver bracelet are found. The local club brought the technology to Lubbock back in 2008, but to date has only used it for training exercises until Matthew went missing this morning.
Lt. Jason Stewart with the Lubbock County Sheriff's office says it usually takes more or less than 9 hours to track down a missing person without a lifesaver bracelet. Deputies with the sheriff's office are trained to use the tracking system and found Matthew within half an hour of getting the first call. For people with severe autism like Matthew, this system really does save lives. "To have that piece of mind is priceless, you can't buy that piece of mind" Rhonda says about knowing that she will always be able to find her son.
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