A 15-year-old led authorities to a missing autistic boy in Matawan Thursday evening, according to Sgt. Patrick J. Walker of the .
Police were alerted at 6:03 p.m. that the boy, whose name and age have not been released because he is a minor, left his home with his dog and had not been seen for 30 minutes, Walker said. Matawan police began canvassing neighborhoods and the Matawan First Aid Squad and Matawan Fire Department were called in to assist in the effort, according to Walker.
The autistic boy’s 15-year-old neighbor began exploring nearby wooded areas on his ATV. Nearly an hour after the autistic boy went missing, the 15-year-old discovered him trapped in sticker bushes in a creek in the bottom of a gully about a mile from his home, Walker said.
The 15-year-old notified authorities of the location through a 9-1-1 call. Patrolman Chris Stark, Special Officer Jonathan Borsari and Walker brought the boy and the dog out of the gully to safety. The pair were uninjured and turned over to the autistic boy’s mother, Walker said.
“The Matawan Police Department plans to recognize the juvenile who greatly assisted patrols and actually located the missing autistic juvenile in the near future,” Walker said.
Other agencies assisting in the search included neighboring Aberdeen and Old Bridge police, which were alerted to the missing child and advised to search their borders. In addition, the Matawan Police Department requested assistance from the Aberdeen Community Emergency Response Team and K-9 units from the Marlboro Police Department and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department.