Officers spent most of the early morning hours of Tuesday checking with residents and visitors in the Fort Sanders area to see if a family was missing a child after one had been reported walking alone in the Fort Sanders area at night.
According to a police spokesman, two UT students called authorities saying they had seen a small child, possibly a girl, wearing a backpack and walking on James Agee Street and Forest Street at around 12:30 a.m.
Officers from Knoxville Police Department responded immediately to the area. They activated a search and recovery team to canvas the neighborhood. They checked nearby hotel rooms, hospitals, and homes with toys in the yard.
While they were searching, no report for a missing girl was filed.
No child was ever found.
Reasoning that a family would be awake and notice a missing child by 7:30, the Knoxville Police Department called off the search around 8:30 a.m.
Police say they know other UT students passed by the same individual and yet did not report anything unusual. Police then speculate the individual reported as a child may have been a student small in stature.
KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk urges the public to make sure an officer connects with a child whenever reporting one in distress.