PATCHOGUE, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — The search is over for a missing autistic boy after he was found safe in Virginia on Wednesday, according to Suffolk County Police. Now a Tennessee man faces kidnapping charges related to the boy’s disappearance, police said.
Family members reported a 15-year-old boy missing at approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to Fifth Squad detectives based on Waverly Avenue in Patchogue. According to police, the boy was last seen leaving his residence about two hours earlier.
“Following an investigation, Fifth Squad detectives determined the boy had been communicating with a 20-year-old man residing in Tennessee through an instant messaging app and had possibly been taken out of state by the individual,” according to a police statement.
Police continued: “Fifth Squad detectives were able to track the pair to a rest stop in Virginia. Multiple law enforcement partners in Virginia were able to locate them sleeping in a vehicle at the rest stop in Montgomery, Virginia at approximately 1 a.m. this morning.”
Located about 40 miles south of Roanoke, Montgomery is over 500 miles away—or nearly nine hours by car—from the greater Sachem area.
“The 20-year-old, whose identity is being withheld pending his return to Suffolk County where he will face kidnapping charges, was taken into police custody without incident,” according to police.
The boy will be released to the custody of his family, police added.
Police declined to state for OnSachem News the specific neighborhood in which the boy resides. The Fifth Precinct, which is leading the investigation, serves the southern portion of the Town of Brookhaven, the eastern portion of the Town of Islip, and the incorporated villages of Patchogue and Bellport. Within the Sachem area, the Fifth Precinct includes the southern halves of Holbrook and Holtsville south of the LIRR tracks.
Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552.