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Autistic boy, 8, missing from Skokie mall found safe

Brooklyn Venter. Photo from Skokie police.

Brooklyn Venter. Photo from Skokie police.

(SKOKIE) An autistic 8-year-old boy who wandered away from his parents at a north suburban shopping mall Thursday afternoon has been found safe and reunited with his parents, Skokie police said.

Brooklyn Venter went missing about 1:45 p.m. after wandering away from his parents inside an L.L. Bean store at Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Mall at 4999 Old Orchard Road in Skokie, according to Skokie police.

A store employee found the boy about 7:40 p.m. in a back access stairwell where only employees are allowed, police said.

Venter was unharmed and in good spirits, police said. He was reunited with his family.