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Missing autistic Phoenix-area teen found safe after hourslong search

PHOENIX — A missing autistic teenager was found safe in the Phoenix area early Thursday morning, authorities said, after an overnight search that had neighbors and others in the community helping.

The boy, a 17-year-old named Jake, had last been seen in Queen Creek on Wednesday near Hawes Road and 204th Street.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said the boy was in good shape when found.

Jake had been spotted several times in the East Valley town during those hours, but he eluded searchers out of fear, authorities said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Chris Hegstrom was grateful to the volunteers for their efforts.

“Thanks to all who helped in the search,” he tweeted.

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