Community effort traces missing boy

Darren vanished on his bike while heading to the car park with his dad
Darren vanished on his bike while heading to the car park with his dad

People power in Kirkintilloch and beyond tracked down a 
vulnerable youngster with autism who vanished during a visit to a skate park.

A massive police search was launched o the evening of Tuesday, September 26, after Darren Gamble went missing while out with his dad at the Kirkintilloch play area.

After an appeal over social media, Darren, from Cumbernauld, was tracked down three hours after disappearing, at around 9.15pm, in the village of Twechar.

A police spokesperson said: “A villager saw the social media appeal and decided to drive to Kirkintilloch to help with the search.

“But as she got into her car, she saw a wee boy with a bike and realised it was Darren, just outside her house. She immediately got in touch with us.”

Chief Inspector Gerry Corrigan added: “I was genuinely delighted the residents of Kirkintilloch and wider East Dunbartonshire responded to social media appeals during our search for Darren.

“That people took to the streets in droves shows the strength of community spirit and pride that exists in East Dunbartonshire. The response of the public to the social media appeal was key to finding Darren safe and well.”

The little boy had made off on his BMX bike in the direction of Waterside Road around 6.30pm, sparking the search. He and his dad had been heading for their car at the time.

Pamela Marshall posted on the Herald Facebook page: “It was a fantastic community effort. I have never seen so many phone torches lighting up Kirky before. So happy he’s home”.