TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - One local family is being praised by the Toledo Police Department after finding an autistic teenager who went missing for several hours Saturday.
Earlier that morning, Bernadette Hicks told police that her son Quamell Jones, 15, went missing after he walked out of the family's apartment. Hicks also informed police that Quamell was autistic and functioned at the level of an eight year old.
That's when a field search for Quamell began which included a canine unit, a drone and some of the teachers from Quamell's school, Autism Model Academy.
Posts about Quamell's disappearance from TPD's and WTOL's social media accounts were also shared several hundred times online.
Hours later, the Mehling family, who was unaware of the missing teen, noticed a young a man who appeared distressed, walking on the Anthony Wayne Trail near Sherwood Road.
"We were on our way to Wixey Bakery, when we saw the young man wondering," Mr. Mehling explained. "He looked like he was in distress."
That's when the family called police for help.
Once police arrived, they recognized that the young man in need of help was Quamell.
Quamell was treated for exposure but didn't have any further injuries.
"I want to thank the Mehling family for helping TPD find Quamell today," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral. "I have said it time and time again, we need the help of all Toledoans to keep this city safe. This is a perfect example of that. The Mehling's saw a young man in distress and reached out to us for help. I couldn't be happier or prouder of this family."?
"We have children and would want someone to do the same for us," Mr. Mehling said.
TPD detectives contacted Lucas County Children Services to investigated the nature of Quamell leaving home, but has returned to the care of his mother.