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Illinois Youngster Apparently ‘Sleepwalks’ 100 Miles

April 29, 1987

PERU, Ind. (AP) _ An 11-year-old sleepwalker apparently hopped a train in the middle of the night, winding up 100 miles from his Illinois home, authorities said.

Michael Lamont Dixon was discovered walking barefoot along railroad tracks east of Peru about 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, wearing only a T-shirt and twill pants, authorities said.

″Supposedly, he hopped a freight and wound up here in Peru,″ said Police Chief Bill Page. ″He woke up, got off and thought he was still in Danville.″

″He was having a nightmare and he went sleepwalking,″ said his mother, Dorthea Dixon. ″He sleepwalks, but he has never gone outside before.″

Michael, who lives near railroad tracks, did not recall getting on or off the train but said he had some dizzy spells Monday before going to bed, according to Pamela Smith, a Miami County Welfare Department caseworker.

He was in good health, she said.

″He was dirty, barefoot. He had a pair of twill pants and a T-shirt. No coat, no shoes, no socks. No other type of protective clothing. He was alert and responsive. He was a very quiet young man,″ she said.

″We see all types of things, but this is the first one where the child had no recollection or understanding of how he got from point A to point B.″

Mrs. Dixon said she had assumed that Michael, one of seven children, was in bed asleep until she received a telephone call early Tuesday from authorities in Peru, a town of about 15,000 people 75 miles north of Indianopolis.

She said her son told her he had dreamed about being chased and then running into a closet.

″I’m taking him to the doctor today,″ she said. ″He sleepwalks, but I didn’t know it could be dangerous until now. This is my first real experience with something like this.″

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