Michael Karwan, the highly functioning autistic Marlboro 19-year-old who left his home more than week ago after an argument with his parents, was found safe in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday evening, authorities announced last night.
Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Christopher Graiccioni offered details Wednesday on how Karwan ended up in Cleveland — about 500 miles away from home — after traveling by bus from Monmouth County to Manhattan then to upstate New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
Once arriving in Cleveland, Karwan attempted to check-in to an overcrowded men’s shelter run by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries but was referred to the Volunteers of America shelter, according to a Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office press release.
An employee at the Volunteers of America shelter subsequently recognized Karwan from a Facebook post about the ongoing search and contacted the Marlboro Police Department.
After forwarding the information obtained from the shelter employee to the Cleveland Police Department, officers arrived at the shelter and performed a check of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, confirming Karwan’s status as a missing person.
“With Michael Karwan safely reunited with his parents, we all have a little more to give thanks for this Thanksgiving holiday. I personally want to thank everyone who played a role in the search for Michael and his safe return, especially the news media that helped get the word out about Michael,” Gramiccioni said in the release.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Marlboro Police Department, and the FBI’s Red Bank Office were assisted by the Cleveland and New York City Police Departments, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, NJ Transit, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), FBI divisions in Cleveland, Newark, and New York City, as well as numerous volunteer organizations, according to the release.