Boy Goes Missing From Odessa YMCA and Later Found

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A seven-year-old boy goes missing from the YMCA in Odessa and no one even noticed he was gone.

That is until a family member went to pick him up.

The boy was eventually found, but now the family wants answers.

NewsWest 9 spoke with the legal guardian of the seven-year-old child. She said the YMCA did cooperate well with her, but she still doesn't understand how her child managed to make it all the way to 42nd Street in Odessa before anyone noticed he was missing.

Tiffany Menefee was on the road back to Odessa when she got a shocking phone call on Friday.

"My mother said she arrived at the YMCA around 5:30p.m. to pick up Cashius and he was not there," she said.

Tiffany said her mother went to pick up the seven-year-old at the YMCA off of University, but he was nowhere to be found.

She said a daycare worker told her mom Tiffany had already picked up the boy.

When Tiffany's mother told them she wasn't even in town, they started looking for him and called police.

"When they went back and reviewed the video tape it shows Cashius putting on his jacket, putting on his backpack and walking straight out the center," Menefee said. "The first thought was 'Oh my gosh, you know how can that happen? He is just seven years old and he just walks straight out."

Police later found the seven-year-old safe and unharmed, walking toward the Long John Silver's on 42nd Street and Andrews Highway.

Tiffany said Cashius told her he left because he didn't see his brother's stuff in his cubby.

"He said that he wasn't scared but he thought that he was forgotten at daycare," she said.

Now Tiffany wants to know how Cashius was able to leave without anyone noticing, especially since he was found so far away from the center.

"My main concern was when was he last accounted for, when did anyone even acknowledge that he was in the room?" she said.

Tiffany said the YMCA has been cooperative and apologized, but that's not enough.

"I just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else's kids," she said. "By me putting them in the YMCA, them assisting me in providing childcare for them while I work, they have failed me on that part."

Tiffany said the YMCA said there was enough daycare workers to children that day, but the view of the door might've been blocked by parents coming in to sign out their children. Right now, she is looking for another childcare center for her kids.

She also said an investigation by licensing and CPS has been started into this how this happened.

NewsWest 9 did try contacting the YMCA but they have not yet returned our phone calls.