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Special needs child under DCFS watch went missing for a day after running away from foster home

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GONZALES - A special needs child went missing within days of being placed into a foster home by the state, prompting his biological family to demand that he be allowed to return home.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said the foster family realized that 11-year-old Zylan Bailey was missing around 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6. The sheriff's office published a public notice about the boy's disappearance around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, and he was found safe at a relative's home within the hour.

Zylan, who has special needs, was initially taken from his mother and placed in his aunt's custody by the Department of Children and Family Services over truancy issues, according to his biological family. They say he was moved again on Dec. 5, this time to a foster family, after he was left unsupervised and ended up walking by himself to visit his mom at work. 

His mom and aunt are furious that he was put into a potentially dangerous situation just a day after he was taken from them. 

"Anything could've happened. He could've been hit by a car, kidnapped, drugged, sex-trafficked... anything could've happened," said Nicole Bailey, Zylan's aunt. "Tell me who is inadequate supervision. Looks like DCFS to me."

Zylan's mother, Ebony Bailey, acknowledged her missteps but said she believes Zylan is much safer with his family. 

"Help me get my kid back home, before the holidays," Ebony said. "I'm numb. This is the first incident."

DCFS would not comment further on the situation, saying it could not reveal whether a child is in state custody. 


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