MONROE COUNTY — State police said Michael Destefano, 18, who has autism, ran out of a foster care meeting at the Monroe County Public Safety Center in Hamilton Township in Monroe County.
It was just before 1 p.m., and while Destefano was wearing a coat and hat, the temperatures were bitingly cold.
State police and local rescue crews were called in.
In all, about 40 people and a search dog started to comb the area.
“We are prepared to go out and stay out as long as we need to. As I said, each one of my people who goes out, is prepared to be out, 24 hours totally self-sufficient with their back pack, so if they need to stay out there and just keep going, they are going to go,” said Bob Lemoi of Northeast Search and Rescue.
State police said Destefano, from Pike County, was unfamiliar with where he was.
He was spotted running around near the Snydersville Diner on Route 209.
State police stopped at businesses in the area to spread the word.
“We looked in all the buildings here and everything else and weren’t able to find anything,” said Skip Weatherford, at Shooting For The Moon, a shop nearby.
State police said after hours of searching, a trooper spotted Destefano walking off Haney Road, about a mile and a half from the public safety center.
State police said Destefano had pricked his fingers and had a little blood on his glasses, but seemed to be ok.
“The foster parents are overjoyed he was located. I spoke to the dad here recently, and he’s overwhelmed and glad we located his son,” said Sgt Martin Ritsick of the State Police at Swiftwater.