TURLOCK, CA - Turlock firefighters and Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies had the grim task of recovering a 12-year-old boy's body after he had been struck and killed by a freight train Tuesday night.
The youth was hit at approximately 9 p.m. on the 2000 block of Paulson Road, said sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Bejaran. The train had already stopped.
A family friend said the victim was autistic. His uncle, who raised him, was preoccupied with loading his car for moving to a new house when he left the back gate open. The boy got out and because he loved to play with rocks, it was believed that was what he was doing on the tracks. He had the mental capacity of a very young child, the friend said, and apparently didn't even move as the train approached.
News10 is not using the victim's name in respect of the family's wishes.
Anyone who witnessed what happened or has information pertaining to the investigation can call the sheriff's office at (209) 525-7114 or leave a tip anonymously with Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also email tips at Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward.