• A teen with autism went missing June 8 while with family at Mount Disappointment, Australia
  • His family worried rescue efforts would be complicated by his nonverbal autism
  • William Callaghan was found two days after under freezing conditions

William Callaghan, a 14-year-old boy with non-verbal autism, was reported lost during a family walk at Mount Disappointment, Victoria, Australia on Monday, June 8.

Two days later, he was found alive near the peak of the mountain.

His family had raised concerns that search efforts would have been difficult because of Callaghan’s inability to communicate verbally.

Police do not know if Callaghan had access to food, water or shelter while on Mount Disappointment, which is 37 miles north of Melbourne. The temperature had dropped below 0 ℃ (32 ℉ ) for the two nights that he was missing.

Local volunteers joined hundreds of people who searched for Callaghan on the ground and in the air as police warned of “life-threateningly cold” conditions on the rugged terrain.

Ben Gibbs, a local bushman, said that he found Callaghan in a search area that had already been tagged by other rescuers.

Gibbs explained that he was just breaking through the thick bush when he found Callaghan. “He was about 15 meters from me just standing there. He was really angelic, just standing and looking,” Gibbs said.

He also explained that the teen looked reasonably healthy and didn’t appear to be shivering excessively despite the cold. He and the boy eventually reached the rescue base a mile away after Gibbs gave him clothes to warm himself and some chocolate.

Callaghan’s mother, Penny said he was “calm” despite the ordeal he faced. She also implied that the teen was confused wand was pressing his body which she said meant “his body feels weird.”

"I'm just so grateful and so relieved, he's just a very special person. All the people in his life just love him to bits," Penny told Sky News.

Penny thanked the rescuers and volunteers. “More than anything, thank you everyone. I’m so grateful, you’re all amazing. What an amazing community,” she said.

Callaghan was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital, where emergency workers said he was “relatively unscathed” and would be able to return home in the evening.

He also reportedly suffered a few minor abrasions to his feet and face but was not suffering from hypothermia.