Teen Who Went Missing in 2019 Found Safe

California teen found in Utah
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2022 12:30 AM CDT
Teen Who Went Missing in 2019 Found Safe
   (Getty Images / Herwin Bahar)

Connerjack Oswalt was 17 years old when he vanished from his northern California home in 2019. He was reported missing September 28 of that year. His mother says the teen, who is autistic, left home after "someone had allegedly told him he can go on a pilgrimage to find himself." Two and a half years later, the now-19-year-old has been found safe, USA Today reports. Someone in the Park City, Utah, area called police to report a man sleeping outside a gas station, and when sheriff's deputies arrived, they did a fingerprint scan to identify him because he didn't communicate his name, per TMZ. He was reportedly shivering from the cold, and deputies got him warmed up. He's since been reunited with his family.

The fingerprint scan called up an arrest warrant for someone with a name similar to Oswalt's that was issued in February out of Nevada, so deputies continued to investigate until they linked the teen to a missing person's poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's database. The investigation into where Oswalt has been since 2019 continues, but deputies did encounter him at other times in the Park City area before he was finally identified. Other people called in reports of a homeless man pushing a shopping cart, and "each time deputies interacted with Connerjack, he didn't provide any identifying information," Lt. Andrew Wright of the Summitt County Sheriff's Office says. "Deputies offered Connerjack resources such as transportation, food, etc. He refused all offers made." (More missing person stories.)

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