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UPDATE: Teen with Autism Found Safe in Boyd County, Ky.

By: Josh McComas; Lauren Schmoll; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Josh McComas; Lauren Schmoll; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 11/8/12 @ 10 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- More than 12 hours of searching finally came to an end, leaving loved ones and a community breathing a collective sigh of relief.

A missing teenager with autism was found safe and sound about 7:15 Thursday night.

Dozens of volunteers came out to help search crews after hearing about the missing teen.

Geoffrey "Braiden" Reffitt took off Thursday morning from his home in the Summit area of Boyd County.

Rescue crews and volunteers spent the day combing a one-mile radius around his home.

Josh Thompson says he learned about the story and saw Braiden's picture on WSAZ.com.

"My heart has been telling me all day to go find this boy, and I had a feeling I was going to find him,” Thompson said. “That's the craziest thing about it."

Thompson spotted the 14-year-old standing in a ditch along Hatchery Road about 7:15.

"I just said ‘Everybody's looking for you, would you like to go home?’” Thompson said, “He said, ‘Well, I kind of ran away from home, and I think my mom is mad at me.’ I said ‘No, I promise when you go home she'll give you the biggest hug she's ever given you."

Braiden was physically ok, just cold and hungry.

Thompson took him to the command post that search crews had been set up. He was taken to the hospital from there to be checked out.

His family was extremely relieved and thankful.

"They were very excited,” Boyd EMS Director Tom Adams said, “very emotional and very happy to see this turned out the way it did."



UPDATE 11/8/12 @ 7:20 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – After an extensive nearly 12-hour search, a missing teen with autism has been found safe.

Boyd County emergency dispatchers tell WSAZ.com Braiden Reffitt, 14, was found walking along Hatchery Road about 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

Reffitt took off about 8 a.m. Thursday, from his home near Mead Springer Road and Route 60 in the Summit area of Boyd County.

About 30 people have been out searching every road within a one mile radius for Reffitt.

Dispatchers say the teen is with law enforcement and will be taken back to search headquarters.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 11/8/12 @ 7 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – More than 30 trained experts are combing every road, every piece of woods and every residential property for 14 year old Braiden Reffitt.

“We're just worried and we want him home,” Latisha Williams said.

The cold weather is another obvious concern.

“He's looking at hypothermia,” first responder Thomas Adams said.

Reffitt took off Thursday morning, from his home near Mead Springer Road and Route 60 in the Summit area of Boyd County.

“I have no idea where he would've taken off to,” Williams said.

Reffitt has Autism, which makes this search even more complicated.

“Frequently they're very intelligent... so they stay one step ahead of us,” Adams said.

First responder Tom Adams says a missing person with Autism can be more difficult to find than the average runaway child or even an elderly person with dementia.

“Sometimes he doesn't respond the way we might respond under certain circumstances,” Williams.

Coupled with the fact that Reffitt disappeared after an argument at home, the situation becomes even more dire.

“He's angry and he doesn't want to be around us and in turn he puts all that intelligence into avoiding us,” Adams said. “Which makes our job much much much harder.”

Searching by car... By helicopter... And on foot with dogs... For a young teen, facing the biggest challenge of his life.

“If someone could just please pick him up and just bring him home and let him know he's not in any trouble,” Williams said.

UPDATE 11/8/12 @ 3 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Crews are still out searching for a missing 14-year-old with autism.

Geoffrey "Brayden" Reffitt was last seen crossing US Route 60 near Meade Springer Road in the Summit area about 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

About 30 people are out searching every road within a one mile radius for the teen.

A helicopter, operated by Air Methods out of Grayson, has been called in to assist with the search.

Tom Adams with Boyd County EMS tells WSAZ.com that they are searching every location possible near the area he was last seen. Crews are surprised he has not yet been found and fear that he may be hiding because he believes he is in trouble.

We have crews at the search headquarters.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Emergency workers are searching for a 14-year-old boy with Autism that went missing Thursday morning.

According to Boyd County 911 Dispatchers, Geoffrey "Brayden" Reffitt was last seen crossing US Route 60 near Meade Springer Road in the Summit area about 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

The teen lived at a house on Taylor Drive.

Reffitt is 5'9" and weighs approximately 225 pounds. He is wearing a red/black Hilfiger pullover, gray shorts with skulls and flip-flops.

Emergency officials have set up a command post at the Marathon gas station at the intersection of Mead Springer Road and US Route 60.

If you come in contact or see this boy, please call 911 or your local police department. Emergency officials also tell WSAZ.com that he will only answer to the name Brayden.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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