William Callaghan, 14, was on a hike with his dad and brother on Mount Disappointment in Melbourne, Australia.
Somewhere along the way, he got separated from them amid the dense, thick bush.
The teen is nonverbal and has autism.
William went missing and spent the next two nights lost in the woods. At night, the temperature dropped below freezing.
Local officials and hundreds of volunteers joined in the effort to find the teen, “bush-bashing their way through dense undergrowth” as ABC reported.
But 48 terrifying hours passed by, and still no sign of William.
At one point in the search, William’s shoes were found, and the rescue efforts grew more intense; they knew they were getting close, but time was of the essence.
Authorities asked their volunteers to “help draw Will out of hiding” by adapting to the teenager’s individual likes and needs, rather than using their traditional methods.
ABC reports, “Fiona Sharkey, the chief executive of autism advocacy organisation Amaze, had praised Victoria Police for adapting its search methods to find William, such as calling for people to play music to attract his attention. ‘We consider it to be very person-centered,’ she said. ‘We really need to adapt ourselves to the needs of autistic people rather than expecting them to behave as we do, or as neurotypical people do.'”
Watch the video below to see how William was finally found. What an incredible ending to a story with such a frightening start.
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