LAKE LUZERNE — An autistic teen who ran away from home Sunday night was found walking on a road in Queensbury on Monday morning after a frigid night wandering through woods and along rural roads.
Geoffrey Deierlein, 16, of Lake Luzerne was found shortly before 11:30 a.m. by police and state forest rangers. State Police said he was spotted on West Mountain Road in Queensbury by a driver who had seen news reports about the search for him, and called police.
State Police believe he had spent the night walking, first in some woods but eventually making his way to roads and walking along them for more than 12 hours. He did not need medical treatment, despite having been outside in temperatures that dropped to near 10 degrees early Monday. He was wearing winter clothes.
Search teams were concentrating their efforts around Lake Vanare, as the teen was last seen on Chuckwagon Trail around 6:50 p.m. Sunday.
It ramped up Monday morning with numerous State Police, Warren County sheriff’s officers and state Department of Environmental Conservation personnel, assisted by search dogs and a helicopter.
Police said he is autistic and has health issues, which led to concern about his well-being. Police dogs and a helicopter aided the ground search on Monday morning. A command post had been set up for rangers and police officers involved with the search at the Longhorn Restaurant on Route 9N, as they tried to cover a large rural area rife with woods, hills, ponds and lakes.
After the search ended with good news, Warren County Sheriff Bud York reminded people that his office is involved with a program called “Project Lifesaver” that provides loved ones of autistic children or adults with dementia with electronic equipment that can help locate them when they go missing. It has been used to help locate a number of missing people in the region over the years.
Anyone seeking information about Project Lifesaver, which is a free program, can call the Sheriff’s Office at 518-743-2500.