Airalee Barry is happy to have her son James Young back home after three nights away.
Airalee Barry is happy to have her son James Young back home after three nights away. Rob Williams

Nightmare ends well for family

THE nightmare has ended for an Ipswich mum and dad whose 11-year-old son went missing this week.

James Young spent three nights away from his Wulkuraka home after disappearing about 3pm Monday.

Despite being spotted at Brassall and in Ipswich's CBD on several occasions, it wasn't until about 10.30am yesterday that police – led by the Child Protection and Investigation Unit – were able to track the youngster down in Brisbane St, Ipswich.

James, who has been diagnosed with several health problems and requires medication, returned home in good health yesterday, but the same couldn't be said for his mother Airalee Barry, who said she had barely slept since Monday.

“Between me and his dad we've probably had about six hours sleep this week,” Ms Barry said.

“It has been a nightmare not just for his dad and me but for his two sisters and his older brother.

“He has been on medication since he was five, so my main concern was that he did not have his medication and that he was with someone who doesn't know how to look after him.”

The family spent a large portion of this week distributing flyers around the area in a desperate attempt to find James.

Ms Barry left her home about 8pm on Wednesday night and walked the streets of Ipswich until about 4am yesterday, searching in vain for her boy.

Police first issued a public alert relating to James' disappearance on Wednesday afternoon, triggering a wave of media coverage.

“He still doesn't understand how serious this is – it hasn't sunk for him,” Ms Barry said.

“We haven't had a chance to have a good conversation with him about it yet.”

Police thanked members of the public for their assistance.