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Australian Teen With Autism Found Alive After Spending Two Nights In Freezing Bushland

Australian Teen With Autism Found Alive After Spending Two Nights In Freezing Bushland

A frantic search has been underway for William Callaghan after he disappeared during a bushwalk.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

An Australian teenager has been found alive and well after spending two nights alone in freezing bushland in Victoria.

William Callaghan disappeared during a bushwalk with his family on Mount Disappointment three days ago, sparking a frantic air and land search for him. He raced ahead of his family and they couldn't find him.

The 14-year-old has non-verbal autism and there were big fears for his safety.

Victoria Police said in a statement: "Amazing news!! Missing boy Will Callaghan has been located by a volunteer at Mount Disappointment.

"Will is set to be reunited with his family shortly. We would like to thank the community for their outpour of support."

Volunteer Ben Gibbs was the legend who found the teen and says he couldn't believe his eyes when he finally spotted him in the bushland.

"I came up from the bottom of the mountain, there is a single track there I know quite well," he said. "I just followed that up and went off track once I got near the top and saw where the guys had tagged where they searched previously and I went a bit deeper than that."

"He was really angelic, just standing there."

Police used specific tactics to get Will to respond to their calls.

Not only did they play music to attract his attention but they also laid food out in several areas in the hope that he would follow the trail.

Fiona Sharkey, the chief executive of autism advocacy organisation Amaze, said it was a brilliant way of finding the missing boy.

"We consider it to be very person-centred," she said. "We really need to adapt ourselves to the needs of autistic people rather than expecting them to behave as we do, or as neurotypical people do."

Featured Image Credit: Victoria Police

Topics: News, Australia