Oak Lawn, IL (CBS) — A disabled student is taken to the emergency room after being seriously injured in a hit-and-run, unable to speak.
His family couldn’t find him, and even the police tried to find him, but failed. The Resource Officer didn’t give up and eventually tracked him down.
A young man named Kyle Jenkins was hit hard on his way home earlier this month. His grandmother and guardian, Viola Morgan, remembers speaking to him.
“He called and said, ‘Grandma, I’m going home,'” Morgan said. “I said, ‘Okay, I’ll take care of you.'”
Hours went by and Jenkins never returned home.
“I kept calling,” Morgan said.
Morgan eventually called an adult transition program in Oak Lawn’s 218th School District.
“I asked the school, ‘Did he show up?'” Morgan said.
Morgan called the police and filed a missing persons report. Jenkins said she was 21, but her cognitive abilities were preteen-level, which worried her grandmother.
But when Morgan contacted the school, someone took action.
“So I knew right away that something was wrong,” said Chris Harris.
Chris Harris is not a teacher. He is the resource officer at the school that Jenkins and other disabled adults attend.
“The school resource officer’s job goes far beyond the school, and that’s what people don’t realize,” Harris said. “From the time you leave home until you get to school, you are my family.”
And Harris went to work to find “family.”
“He went overboard with what he was supposed to do. He went overboard,” Morgan said.
Harris explained, “Knocking on doors, doing basic police work, investigating the area.”
After three days, Jenkins was still missing and not looking up.
“My concern was that he was accused and killed,” Harris said.
“It was a horrible situation,” Morgan added. “I wanted to ask him to go to the morgue. I wanted to, but he was afraid. I didn’t want them to say yes.”
Jenkins turns out to be the victim of a serious hit-and-run. Someone ran him over and left him by the roadside in Dixmoor.
He was in the ER as John Doe – unable to speak.
“They say he has a traumatic brain injury,” Morgan said.
Jenkins lost his phone and ID in a hit-and-run. Still, remember all the detective work that Officer Harris was doing.
Harris noticed two John Dowes at the Advocate Christ Medical Center and brought him a picture of Jenkins wearing “Rugrats” pants, noting that one of the patients they brought in was wearing such pants. I requested to see if there is
Harris persuaded the hospital to let him into the room.
“I looked over and saw that face. I knew immediately who he was. I came back and said, ‘No, it’s Kyle Jenkins. He’s right there,'” Harris said. ‘And she said, ‘Well, how can you be sure?’ And I explained to her, ‘I see him five out of seven days. I keep in touch with him all the time. I consult him.”
Jenkins’ recovery will take a long time, but his grandmother is sending her prayers and thanks to her new family friend named Chris Harris.
“He didn’t give up, and I was very grateful for that,” Morgan said.