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Search Continues For Autistic N.J. Teen Missing Since Last Tuesday

Possible Sighting Reported Outside Diner In Chelsea
Michael Karwan, 19, of Marlboro, N.J. has been missing since Tuesday, Nov. 19. (Credit Marlboro Police Department)

Michael Karwan, 19, of Marlboro, N.J. has been missing since Tuesday, Nov. 19. (Credit Marlboro Police Department)

MARLBORO, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for an autistic New Jersey teenager who has been missing for nearly a week.

Michael Karwan, 19, vanished from his Marlboro, N.J., home last Tuesday.

Authorities said Karwan was seen getting on a bus in Monmouth County and later by a bus driver at the Port Authority Bus Terminal a day after his disappearance.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, the Guardian Angels have launched a search effort for Karwan in the city.

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa says they have 100 people willing to brave the elements to try to find the 19-year-old.

“He’s got the mind of 12-year-old so it truly is like a child who’s run away,” Sliwa told Miller.

He said children with autism are attracted to two different entities.

“They love going deep underground in the subways or on elevated subways of which there are a lot of choices in New York City. But they’re also attracted to large bodies of water,” said Sliwa.

He said Karwan’s father reached out to the Guardian Angels because he’s not getting enough help from local authorities.

“A lot of times they fall off the radar screen and local law enforcement is a dollar short and a day late in catching up to this phenomenon,” Sliwa told Miller.

Congressman Michael Grimm told 1010 WINS that a man noticed a person fitting Karwan’s description outside a diner in Chelsea Monday morning.

Grimm said the man “was sitting there looking out the window and who he believes was Michael Karwan was standing there for almost a half an hour basically looking down, shaking his head a little bit.”

“He gave extreme details of who we believe is Michael Karwan and his mannerisms were very consistent, his father said, with the way he would shake his head when he was anxious and disoriented,” he added.

The NYPD was doing a grid search in every direction from the diner Monday, Grimm said.

The search for Karwan is also widening to upstate New York, where officials believe he may have accidentally traveled after asking for directions to Marlboro at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Star-Ledger reported. It is possible Karwan may have mistakenly been directed to Marlboro, N.Y. Someone matching Karwan’s description was reportedly spotted in Highland, N.Y., Monday, which is near Marlboro.

Over the weekend, volunteers conducted a search in the Times Square area. Karwan is familiar with the area because his father works in Midtown and the teen’s favorite comic book store is located at 40th Street and Seventh Avenue, Grimm said.

Karwan was wearing a dark leather jacket, blue jeans, a light-colored button down shirt, and green shoes. He has been described has having black hair, brown eyes, is 6’2″, and weighs 220 pounds.

Police said Karwan may have facial hair, as he may have not shaved in several days.

Karwan’s family has offered a $25,000 reward for the missing teen.

Anybody with information has been asked to contact the NYPD’s Crime Stopper’s Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or the Marlboro Township Police Department at 732-536-0100.

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