Connerjack Oswalt had gone missing from Clearlake, California in September 2019 at the age of 16-years-old
Police bodycamera footage captured the emotional moment a mother from California was told her autistic teenage son had been found alive three years after he was reported missing.
Connerjack Oswalt disappeared from Clearlake, California on September 28, 2019 at the age of 16 – but he was found earlier this month outside a gas stations store near Park City, Utah, more than 700 miles away from his old home.
It’s unclear what the teen had been up to for the three years he was missing – and the situation remains under investigation.
Oswalt, who was diagnosed with autism in 2014, was spotted by Summit County Sheriff’s officers, who saw him shivering late at night in the cold.
They had received reports from residents that the boy had been wandering the area with a shopping cart for several weeks.
The young man initially refused help, but he changed his mind when police revisited him last Saturday.
Oswalt was found shivering outside a store gas station earlier this month
Police offered to let him warm up by sitting in the front of their patrol car
The boy was picked up by police in Utah 700 miles away from where he went missing
‘You look like you’re shivering,’ the officers said as they approached. ‘You cold? You want to come sit in his car and warm up for a minute? We can’t have you sitting in front of the door here all night.’
The officers offered the teen a seat in their patrol vehicle to warm up while they asked questions as to his identify. He also agreed to have his fingerprints scanned.
Oswalt tells the officers that he doesn’t want to be taken anywhere but to sit in the car to warm up.
For whatever reason, the Connerjack ‘either refused or was unable to give them his name’ but the Summit County police force made sure he got the care he needed.
One of the officers also set about searching the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database.
Utah police then searched through missing persons records and found a match
Another of the photos original shared by worried parents in 2019
Days later, the boy’s stepfather made the journey to Utah to verify his identify for himself.
Bodycam footage shot by the police shows the man sitting in a police interview with the boy’s mother on speaker phone.
She describes a ‘very distinctive birthmark on his neck’, which police confirm they found.
Police show then show the man a picture of the original missing poster from three years earlier and ask him to compare it to an image shot the previous week.
Mother, Suzanne, and stepfather Gerald Flint, are overjoyed at finding their son
A police bodycam captured the moment the boy’s stepfather confirmed it was him
The stepfather’s reaction is visceral and he immediately becomes emotional at realizing it is the teenage boy they lost years earlier.
On the other end of the line, the Oswalt’s mother asks, ‘Is it him?’
”A little bit older, but yeah!’, he responds.
‘Oh wow! My sweetheart’s alive!’ she cries the mother can be heard shouting before breaking down in tears of joy, knowing her son has finally been found. ‘Oh my God!’
Oswalt is now receiving care and is expected to reunite with his mother soon.
‘My sweetheart’s alive!’ Oswalt’s mother, Suzanne exclaimed before breaking down in tears
Mother, Suzanne, told CBS: ‘We searched all over California. We’re just grateful that he’s safe and he’s alive and we have our son back. That’s the most important thing ever for us.’
Oswalt’s stepfather, Gerald Flint, added: ‘Honestly, I’m still dumbstruck by the situation. We’ve had a lot of false hope over the last two-and-a-half years.’
Flint drove from Idaho Falls, where the family had moved to since his disappearance, to Park City to carry out the in-person identification.
Commenting on the moment Oswalt was reunited with his family, Sheriff Justin Martinez said: ‘There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. They’ve been reunited with this individual they haven’t seen for three years when he was 16. He’s now 19.’
‘As we’ve dealt with this individual he has never been aggressive towards law enforcement but he’s been resistant towards law enforcement,’ Martinez told FOX 13 News.