Connerjack Oswalt was last seen in Willows, California in 2019, more than 700 miles from where he was found.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 18, 2022. It has since been updated.
A California teen with autism who went missing three years ago has been found alive in Utah. Connerjack Oswalt was 16 years old when he was reported missing. Police found the teen sleeping outside a gas station last week. Authorities in Summit County, Utah were called to a gas station on the morning of April 9 in the greater Park City area, after a "concerned community member" reported seeing the man sleeping there, the Summit County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.
Connerjack Oswalt was reported missing by the Clearlake Police Department on September 29, 2019 with his last known sighting in nearby Willows, California roughly one week later.https://t.co/DD7g3P2EaN— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) April 13, 2022
They wrote: over the past couple weeks, many in our community called us about a homeless person wandering around the Kimball Junction area, pushing a shopping cart. Deputies responded each time and offered services to the young man, who was NOT violating any laws - he refused any help. Finally, on Saturday April 9th, a truly concerned community member contacted us after seeing the young man sleeping at the Jeremy Store in Jeremy Ranch. Summit County Sheriff’s Deputies quickly responded and found a cold young man. They got him in their warm patrol vehicle and began digging to find out who the man was. Through past interactions and the Saturday interaction, it was clear to deputies that the man communicated differently. Deputies and dispatchers began to investigate who this young man was.
Connerjack Oswalt, an autistic teenager who was reported missing in California in 2019, was recently found in Utah. https://t.co/kx2M1GKcBI— WAFF 48 (@waff48) April 14, 2022
Connerjack Oswalt, who has autism, went missing in Clearlake on Sept. 28, 2019. A dispatcher began looking through pages on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website, finally coming across a missing poster for Connerjack Oswalt. "Deputies began making phone calls and were able to make contact with Connerjack's mother," Summit County Sheriff's Lt. Andrew Wright told CNN via email.
Oswalt's family had moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, since he went missing. According to Wright, Oswalt's stepfather and grandfather went to Park City, Utah, to identify him in person. In one of two bodycam videos, Oswalt's stepfather is seen shocked after seeing a picture of Oswalt to confirm it was him. "Is it him?" Oswalt's mother can be heard from the phone, which was on speaker. "A little bit older, but yeah," Oswalt's stepfather said. "My sweetheart's alive," the mother can be heard saying while breaking down. "Can you go get him please?"
A 19-year-old who disappeared from his family’s home in Lake County nearly three years ago has been found in Utah, bringing astonishment and relief to his parents who feared they would never see him again. https://t.co/VFAcq7oF6t— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) April 16, 2022
In a statement to local news station WTVT, the Clearlake Police Department shared, "It was great news for us at the Clearlake Police Department to hear Conner was located safe by the Summit County Sheriff's Office. We hope Conner's family can get some much-needed relief knowing he is okay." Oswalt's stepfather Gerald Flint admitted he was "still dumbstruck" by the situation and that finding Oswalt, who is now 19, alive was "incredible." "We've had a lot of false hope over the last two and a half years," Gerald Flint said. "We're just grateful that he's safe and he's alive and we have our son back," Oswalt's mother, Suzanne Flint added. "That's the most important thing ever for us."
Cover Images Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children