Being prepared for the worst, what you need in case your child goes missing

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - A 10-year-old boy is back home safe after running away without permission not once but twice. Madison County investigators say the first time a family friend quickly found Diesel Plaster and brought him home, but the second time required an extensive search for the young boy.

The sheriff's office and volunteers searched extensively for Diesel Wednesday night; luckily, he returned home safe earlier on Thursday. His family and Madison County Sheriff's officials would not say why he ran away.

Law enforcement officers told WHNT that's not always how a missing person's case ends, but there are easy ways to help officers if you ever are involved with a missing child.

This could potentially happen with any child and family, so you should always be up to date on your child's life in case anything happened to them.

"Have an open dialogue with your juvenile, know what's going on with them, make sure that you're familiar with who their friends are, what their likes and dislikes are because it may be helpful information when law enforcement when they respond to look in the right places," said Lt. Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

Another way to help find a missing person: have DNA samples of your family in your house.

"You can make your own little fingerprint kit at home and have your children's fingerprints, you can use a cotton swab and swab the inside of their mouth and have a DNA sample," Shaw said. "You can put that stuff up in the cabinet and whenever the law enforcement responds you can give it to them."

If a child or anyone you know is ever missing, information and DNA like this can be a helpful aid for officers that are working to bring your loved one home safe.

Shaw also told WHNT if you ever see a juvenile you think is missing, because of a missing child alert, to observe the person's behavior and call 911 as soon as possible.