On May 27, 2011, at 8:06 p.m. several officers were dispatched to a residence in the 11300 block of Norwood Avenue wherein a mother reported her 7-year-old son missing.
Bernice Hinojosa last saw her son playing in the backyard and called 9-1-1 when she could not find the child in the yard or inside of the residence. She frantically searched the area and spoke with several neighbors looking for her son, Julian, but no one had seen or knew of the young boy’s whereabouts.
While several officers searched the neighborhood and went door to door searching for the child, Officer Jeff Barney and his police canine “Flash” arrived at the residence.
The parents provided a baseball cap the child had been wearing earlier in the day and Officer Barney let “Flash” smell the cap to conduct a scent search to track the child. After obtaining a scent, “Flash’s” attention immediately was focused in a westward direction on Norwood Avenue. K9 “Flash” guided Officer Barney quickly west. After almost one block, “Flash” concentrated on the front yard of a single story residence in the neighborhood and began pulling Officer Barney toward the front porch. When they walked up to the porch, Julian, the missing 7-year-old walked out of the backyard. A friend of Julian’s lives at the residence and Julian had walked down the street alone and without permission to play with his friend. Julian’s mother was greatly relieved and joyous that her son was found safe and unharmed, but, she quickly scolded her son for leaving the family’s home without permission. This incident hit home with the officers and residents of the City of Riverside because of a recent kidnapping and attempted murder of a 9-year-old child.
The Riverside Police Department wants to remind all parents to instruct their children not to leave anywhere without permission and most importantly not to go anywhere with a stranger.
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