'We've been there'...family of an autistic child sympathizes with Evan Reed situation
Drove an hour away to offer help to family
SMITH COUNTY — We now know Evan Reed, the Autistic toddler that went missing last night in the Noonday area, didn't make it... His body was recovered this afternoon in Lake Palestine.
But as volunteers and search parties were combing the area this morning, one family drove all the way from Wood County to offer help.
"We've been there. Your heart just stops and you don't know what to do and you're searching frantically everywhere for your child," said Amy Crampton.
Like they said, Gordon and Amy Crampton -- have been there.
As crews searched the Noonday area for little Evan Reed on Saturday morning, they understood what his family was going through.
Their 9-year-old son Aaron is autistic...he wears a harness, dog tags and a brightly colored shirt...just in case he takes off unexpectedly like he's done many times.
"One time my wife had stopped off for gas and Aaron had jumped out of the car and was running straight toward the highway and there were tractor trailers and cars going by...he doesn't understand," Gordon Crampton said.
When they woke up, the Cramptons went online to check the weather...and they noticed pictures of a missing little boy...that reminded them of their own son. And it was the comments underneath those stories that bothered them.
"People were basically criticizing this family because they don't understand what Autism is. they don't understand that at the blink of an eye there's no telling where their child may be," Crampton said.
The Cramptons live in Alba, which is about an hour away from Evan Reed's neighborhood...they drove the distance to offer any help they could to the family...and let them know...that they understand...
"There was one that really got me where they were talking about...the prosecuting attorney should be visiting this family and it just became very obvious that they don't understand...and I felt compelled to come down here and try to shield this family from a lot of the criticism that they're getting..that they don't deserve," Crampton said.