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Missing NJ Teenager with Autism Turns Up In Ohio

November 26, 2013


(November 30, 2013) -- Officials said Michael Karwan, 19, has been found safe in Cleveland, Ohio, a week after he was last seen at leaving his Marlboro, N.J. home.

Michael Karwan was safe when he was located, the Citywide Disaster Services emergency communications agency told New York Station WCBS-TV

Michael Karwan was reported missing Nov. 19. He traveled by bus from Monmouth County, New Jersey to Manhattan and from New York to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, said Charles Webster, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Karwan arrived in Cleveland on Saturday and attempted to check in to an overcrowded men’s shelter run by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, but instead was referred to the Volunteers of America shelter.

After Karwan checked into the Volunteers of America shelter, an employee from the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries men’s shelter recognized him after seeing a Facebook item about how Karwan was missing, Webster said. The employee then reported the teen’s location to the Marlboro Police Department.

“This is truly a Thanksgiving blessing,” Grimm said in a statement. “Thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens, countless volunteers, media coverage and prayers from the community, Michael Karwan has been located and will be reunited with his family just in time for the holidays. I am very proud of Michael’s father, Walter Karwan, for his strength, faith, and perseverance throughout this trying time.”

"At this time when families come together to give thanks, we at Autism Speaks are thankful that Michael Karwan has been found safe.  We hope this case will bring needed attention to the issue of wandering, one that touches our families every week,” said Liz Feld President of Autism Speaks. “Avonte Oquendo has been missing since October, and still hasn’t been found.  We are incredibly grateful to our new partners the Guardian Angles for their support in raising awareness about wandering and in working for Michael’s safe return to his family."

Wandering is a common, dangerous issue for the autism community and puts tremendous stress on families. Autism Speaks wants to remind families of the resources available and the advice to follow to keep your loved ones with autism safe. To check out our wandering resources, click here.