FREEHOLD, NJ - A Marlboro teen with autism has been reunited with his parents overnight after he was found safe in a Cleveland, Ohio shelter Tuesday evening, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Michael Karwan, 19, was reported missing from his parents’ home on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2013, sparking an intensive search of the region that spread into upstate New York. Over the next week, Karwan traveled by bus from Monmouth County to Manhattan and from New York via Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before arriving in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon his arrival in Cleveland on Saturday, Karwan attempted to check-in to an overcrowded men’s shelter run by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (LMM), but was referred to the Volunteers of America (VoA) shelter.
After checking into the VoA shelter, an employee from the LMM men’s shelter recognized the missing man after seeing a Facebook newsfeed item detailing Karwan as a missing person and prompting the employee to report the teen’s location to Marlboro police. Marlboro forwarded the information provided by the employee to Cleveland police, who after arriving at the shelter ran a routine check of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database where they confirmed Karwan was listed 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.
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, and a host of volunteer organizations.