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Four days after he went missing autistic teen walks into aunt’s Andheri home

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MUMBAI: The 19-year-old teenager with autism, who went missing on October 28, walked into his aunt’s home on Saturday afternoon, ending a five-day search that saw hectic activity on social networking websites as well as night-to-morning searches.Siddhant Sudhakar, who went missing from Kandivli’s Thakur Village, was the first student with autism to clear the SSC exams in 2011 with 79%. A high-functioning autistic person, friends said Siddhant is very good with dates and numbers.

“We are happy and very relieved,” said his mother Jaya Sudhakar on Saturday. “I want to thank my friends and the police for their help.”

A little after noon on Saturday, she got a call from her sister’s husband, saying that Siddhant had walked into their Four Bungalows flat.

Members of the Forum For Autism (FFA), a support group of parents of children with autism, had spent five days looking for Siddhant. From Facebook updates to physically looking for the teenager, over 100 people were involved in the process. “His friends, therapists and colony people pitched in to look out for him. They put up posters for him at temples, mosques, railway stations,” said FFA member Chitra Iyer. Siddhant’s father would be out searching for him till 2am while his swimming teacher kept up the search throughout the night. “We would put up appeals on Facebook asking people to join us outside Kandivli (E) station and start looking at the spots that Siddhant usually liked to visit,” Jaya added.

Doctors have advised his family not to ask Siddhant too many questions about the places he had visited. “After returning, he told his uncle and aunt that he had a good time travelling and sleeping in trains,” said a family friend.

The Samta Nagar police were relieved after they heard that Siddhant had reached his aunt’s house in Andheri (West). The police will now close the missing person’s complaint his parents had lodged on Tuesday. The police said they had distributed his photo among their personnel and nearby police stations. They had put up posters at various places and had been searching for him, focusing on the slum areas of Kandivli. “We came across a couple of people who told us that they had seen the boy in a Kandivli slum and Thakur village,” said Ravindra Patil, senior police inspector at Samta Nagar police station.

 

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