Life
Police invite young man to warm himself up only to find out he's autistic teen missing for 3 years
“To find him alive is incredible.”
Elijah Chan
04.25.22

A young man was reported to be wandering the area with a shopping cart.

According to a concerned citizen, the young man has been there for several weeks. They called the authorities for help, not knowing that they were about to make a call that will change a family’s life forever.

Pexels - MART PRODUCTION
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Pexels - MART PRODUCTION

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call and drove to a gas station in the Kimball Junction area on the morning of April 9.

The concerned citizen found the man sleeping.

According to the local sheriff’s office, this wasn’t the first time they responded to this call. Each time they offered him assistance, the man refused.

YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition

The sheriff’s office also added that the man didn’t violate any laws. But that didn’t mean he was not in danger. They received a call again because the young man was sleeping out in the cold.

YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition

“Deputies [were] dispatched early in the morning, and it’s the same individual we’ve been dealing with the past couple of weeks,” said Sheriff Martinez to FOX 13. “This morning, he’s very cold, he’s shivering, he’s obviously had a rough night.”

This time, they managed to convince the man to warm up in their vehicle.

As he was sitting in the front seat to get himself out of the brutal weather, the officers took the chance to know more about him.

Pexels - Gabriel Hohol
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Pexels - Gabriel Hohol

Luckily, he consented to a finger scan after refusing to tell them his name. They also noted that he was a special needs person as they noted on their Facebook page when they included #AutismAwareness in their post.

They then ran his prints in their directory.

The dispatcher then got a snag – they got a warrant hit for a Connerjack Oswald from Nevada. Sheriff Martinez shared that the deputies felt that there was more to the story.

YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition

They began running through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database. They scoured photo after photo and name after name.

They found a file under the name Connerjack Oswalt.

Once confident enough with their deduction, they contacted a family who moved from California to Idaho after losing their home to a wildfire.

YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition

It was the call the family was anxiously waiting for. Gerald and Suzanne Flint haven’t seen their son for three years. But now, their nightmare has come to an end.

“To find him alive is incredible,” said Gerald.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and we’re talking law enforcement, family members, they had been reunited with this individual they haven’t seen for three years when he was 16. He’s now 19,” said Sheriff Martinez to FOX 13.

YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition

After three grueling years of searching, Oswalt was reunited with his family just because a concerned citizen made a call and a team of police officers rose above the call of duty. Sheriff Martinez also highlighted the police’s actions that were anchored on compassion and empathy.

YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube Screenshot - Inside Edition

“It’s looking at the bigger picture and feeling that there’s something here,” Sheriff Martinez said of his deputies. “Although he had a warrant, there was a something deeper that these individuals — my deputies — felt like they needed to explore.”

Oswalt is now safe in a treatment facility and his family couldn’t be more thankful.

Watch more in the video below.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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