Missing three years, autistic teen found in Park City
PARK CITY, Utah — An autistic teen who had been missing since 2019 from northern California was found this month sleeping in a freezing parking lot in Park City, Utah.
Connerjack Oswalt, 19, was found by sheriff’s deputies on April 9. His family had moved from Clearlake, California to Oswalt’s birthplace, Idaho Falls, Idaho, hoping he would come back to his first home.
Law enforcement provides the details
Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright joined KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic and guest host Scott Simpson to explain this remarkable story.
“So, where has he been for three years?” Debbie asked.
“I think that’s the question on the mind of, not only the family, but us in law enforcement, specifically the Summit County Sheriff’s Office,” he replied.
Wright went on to say the Sheriff’s Office has had multiple interactions with Oswalt over the past several weeks. Deputies offered homeless services to Oswalt, such as food and clothing in Summit County and a place to shelter and sleep in Salt Lake Valley, but he refused, Wright said, adding Oswalt was not violating any laws, so deputies had no reason to investigate further.
How Oswalt was found
But that changed in the early morning hours of April 9. A caller reported a young man sleeping in front of a convenience store in Jeremy Ranch, on the outskirts of Park City.
Sitting in a warm sheriff’s vehicle, Oswalt was reluctant to give his name.
A 911 dispatcher found a hit on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website and contacted deputies.
Scanning his fingerprints using new technology, deputies discovered that Connerjack Oswalt was now sitting in their vehicle and had been missing from northern California since Sept. 28, 2019.
After some research, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office located a phone number for the mother.
“She said, ‘Hey, by the way, just to make sure it’s him, he’s got a birthmark on the back of his neck. It’s pretty distinctive.’ They looked and sure enough, he had that,” Wright said.
The mother was unable to make the journey from Idaho Falls, but she sent her husband who is Oswalt’s stepfather.
“In the meantime, we have taken him to a local hospital, where he was able to get evaluated to make sure that he was medically OK,” Wright said.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio.