Police Take Two Days to Find 911 Caller
It's the tragic, just-released 911 call as a father and his seven-year-old son lay dying after their car plunged into a ravine off a highway outside Phoenix.
911 Operator: "911, what is your emergency?"
Caller: "Need help!"
911 Operator: "Where are you?"
911 Operator: "Are you alone in the car?"
Caller: "[inaudible] my son."
911 Operator: "Okay, is your son conscious?"
Caller : "I don't know."
911 Operator: "Okay, how old is your son?"
911 Operator: "Seven."
Caller: "I don't know where he is."
Now questions are being raised about why it took police two days to find Conrad Hernandez and his son Max, even though the dying man seems to pinpoint where they are in the 911 call.
911 Operator: "Okay, are you lost or injured?"
Caller: "Injured, I can't move."
911 Operator: "Do you know where you're at?"
Caller: "North of Phoenix."
911 Operator: "North of Phoenix. Do you know where north of Phoenix?"
Caller: "Off of the first rest stop."
911 Operator: "How are you injured?"
Caller: "I...I can't move."
911 Operator: "Okay, how did you get into that position?"
Caller: "My car ran off the road."
Police searched the remote area off Interstate 17 but couldn't find anything.
In another just-released call, the 911 operator talks about the search with a police dispatcher. You can tell how concerned she is.
911 Operator: "He says he's really injured and can't move. He's supposed to have his seven-year-old son with him, but he can't even acknowledge whether his son is conscious or still in the vehicle."
Police dispatcher: "You know we had a call earlier today, earlier this morning, about a vehicle that went off south of Sunset Point, we never could find anything."
It wasn't until two days later that the wreck was spotted from the air, and by then it was too late. Father and son were dead. The question now is, why wasn't a helicopter dispatched sooner?
Police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Wood said, "We just can't do that financially, nor are we staffed to do that."
Hernandez was a lawyer and a doting father to Max. On his blog, he wrote about "The legendary adventures of Little Max Hernandez and his side kick - Super Lawyer Dad!"
Before the wreckage was discovered, Max's mom made a plea for help in finding her husband and son, saying, "I just want them to contact me. I want to know where my son is. I want to know that they're safe. I care about them more than anything in the world."
It's not clear what caused the accident, but Hernandez's wife said her husband had been depressed recently over financial problems and some issues with the I.R.S.