Autistic teen from NJ found alive

Autistic teen from NJ found alive

Posted: Updated:
Michael Karwan Michael Karwan
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

A Marlboro teen with autism has been reunited with his parents after he was found safe in a Cleveland, Ohio shelter.

Michael Karwan, 19, was reported missing from his parents' home on Tuesday, Nov. 19, sparking an intensive search of the region that spread into upstate New York. Over the next week, Karwan traveled by bus from Monmouth County to Manhattan and from New York via Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before arriving in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon his arrival in Cleveland, Karwan attempted to check-in to an overcrowded men's shelter run by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, but was referred to the Volunteers of America shelter.

After checking into the VoA shelter, an employee from the LMM men's shelter recognized the missing man after seeing a Facebook newsfeed item detailing Karwan as a missing person and prompting the employee to report the teen's location to Marlboro police.

Marlboro forwarded the information provided by the employee to Cleveland police, who went to the shelter.

"With Michael Karwan safely reunited with his parents, we all have a little more to give thanks for this Thanksgiving holiday. I personally want to thank everyone who played a role in the search for Michael and his safe return, especially the news media that helped get the word out about Michael," Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Michael Karwan had no cell phone or credit cards on him when he disappeared.  He was wearing a black coat, blue jeans and sneakers went out for a walk last Tuesday afternoon. It is something that he often does but this time he didn't return home.

As the days passed and temperatures dropped, the family got more worried.

“He didn't have a heavy jacket or gloves or a scarf” his mom said. "This is not a runaway situation where he planned it.”

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