south brunswick

Good Samaritan Finds Missing NJ Boy With Autism After He Ran From Home

The 10-year-old boy was seen on his home's security camera, running after his dad who was driving to the store

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A New Jersey man is being hailed a hero for locating a 10-year-old boy with autism who went missing when he ran after his father's vehicle on Wednesday.

Fazil Syed was among dozens South Brunswick community members, police officers and firefighter who spent the cold night searching for Ethan. The young boy was last seen on his Larry Court home's security camera at 7:17 p.m., running after his dad who was driving to the store, according to police.

When Ethan's dad came back home just over an hour later, he found that his son was missing and called for help.

In addition to a big scale search involving emergency personnel and New Jersey State Police helicopter, authorities also sent out a Nixle alert about Ethan to community members, which was seen by Syed, who was at home watching television.

“I grabbed my jacket and a flashlight and began to check the area. Initially I went in one direction, but did not see anything so I decided to check towards the Library," Syed told police.

Not long after, Syed said he spotted a child near the wood line on Kingston Lane, which was less than half a mile from where Ethan went missing.

"I called out to him but got no response. As I crossed the street I called out again, and Ethan came running towards me and gave me a big hug," said Syed.

The concerned neighbor declined an interview with NBC New York but Ethan's mother, Nikia Olivacce, said he's a hero who she has yet to meet.

"I just put my head down and just started crying. It was just so amazing," Olivacce said.

South Brunswick police say they're planning to give Syed an award for finding Ethan.

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