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Michael Karwan’s Journey Off the Grid Outlined by Authorities

Michael Karwan, the autistic 19-year-old who was reunited with his parents overnight after vanishing for more than a week, took a long and circuitous journey before surfacing in Ohio, say Monmouth County authorities.

Information from acting County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni’s office says that Karwan was found safe in a shelter in Cleveland Tuesday night. He was reported missing November 19, triggering an intensive search that included local, regional and federal law enforcement and volunteers.

Authorities said Karwan boarded buses from Monmouth County to New York City, then to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before arriving in Cleveland the following Saturday.

At that point, said investigators, he tried getting lodging in a men’s shelter operated by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (LMM). With no room to spare, they referred him to another one run by Volunteers of America (VoA).

A worker in the LMM shelter matched Karwan to a Facebook news feed that listed him as missing, and notified Marlboro police, authorities said. Cleveland police received word from Marlboro and confirmed Karwan’s missing status through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)

“With Michael Karwan safely reunited with his parents, we all have a little more to give thanks for this Thanksgiving holiday,” said Grammiccioni in a prepared statement. “I personally want to thank everyone who played a role in the search for Michael and his safe return, especially the news media that helped get the word out about Michael.”

In addition to Marlboro, Monmouth and Cleveland authorities, the search involved the FBI in Red Bank, Newark, New York city and Cleveland, New York City police, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ Transit and New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), as well as scores of friends, acquaintances and volunteers including the Guardian Angels.

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