A 15-year-old male student at KW Legacy Ranch in Hiko walked away from the facility Monday morning.
County Sheriff Kerry Lee said his department was called and informed the boy had left the ranch about 6 a.m. and was likely heading south.
Lee immediately dispatched an officer to the scene, “and we started making phone calls to Hiko residents and Alamo ranchers and businesses to be on the lookout for the boy. I went down also and we got some assistance from NHP troopers.”
Not knowing if the boy had caught a ride with a passing vehicle, it was hard to know where to look, Lee explained. He could have been hiking through the fields and avoiding U.S. 93.
However, Lee said some ranchers reported they found tracks heading south.
Lee commented that the boy was eventually found by employees from Legacy Ranch who were also out searching. He was located near the Richardville Cemetery near Alamo, surrendered without incident, and was taken back to the KW Legacy between 4 and 5 p.m. on Monday.
Lee didn’t know why the boy decided to walk away, and according to his understanding, this was not his first time attending KW Legacy.
Due to state regulations, ranch administrators were not allowed to provide any information about the incident.
Lee complimented KW Legacy staff on their efforts. “They really did a phenomenal job. I was very impressed. They sent out multiple staff members, had four wheelers and vehicles, and stationed people at businesses along the highway.”
KW Legacy Ranch is a place for troubled youth and also is a drug rehab treatment center with a program centered on the experience of working on a real-life ranch.