Missing kindergartener found in classroom

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Kindergartener Antonio Aguilar was dropped off at Sacajawea Elementary around eight this morning, but by nine, he was missing.

It's just the kind of thing that will shake a parent up, especially within the first days of school.

"Initially it'd be shock and just complete horror, you know, immediately jumping to the worst, did somebody grab my child while they're at school?" said Sacajawea parent Matt Engel.

Matt has a first grader and a third grader at Sacajewea Elementary School.

When the news came that a fellow student was missing and Richland Police were combing the neighborhoods, it hit home.

"It was a mixture of fear for the kid and 'oh my gosh what's going on?' And 'where'd the kid go?' And 'did somebody grab him?', and trying to think what the parents are going through," said Engel.

Just before noon, Antonio was found safely in a classroom.

It turns out, a staff member asked an older student to take Antonio his classroom.
He was accidentally brought to the wrong room.

Since it's still the first week of school, the teacher didn't immediately recognize Antonio wasn't supposed to be in that class.
The five year old likely didn't know a search effort was underway to find him.

All's well that ends well, but we wanted to know why it took so long to find Antonio.

Sacajawea knew the boy had arrived for the day.

It was his extended resource teacher who realized Antonio was missing.

A district rep tells KEPR the school was put on a non-critical lockdown. Teachers were asked to re-check attendance and survey the room for unknown students.

But, again, during the first week of school, teachers are still learning faces and names and it wasn't clear Antonio was in the wrong spot.

By 9a.m., Sacajawea staff had called police.

"Anytime you have a five year old potentially in the neighborhood, it's very frightening for the parents, for the community, for everybody, so it becomes priority number one quite quickly," said Richland Police Captain Cobb.

Just before noon, a teacher realized the missing child was in her classroom.

I probably would be upset, getting mad afterwards and frustrated about not being able to find him for several hours," said Engel.

A safe ending, but a scare to parents.
School officials say they are looking into the process of getting kids from breakfast to their classrooms so that an incident like this doesn't happen again.

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