Investigation ongoing after teen with special needs found near Kansas rest stop

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GREENWOOD COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Authorities are investigating how a 17-year-old Oklahoma boy with special needs ended up near a Kansas rest stop early Thursday morning. 

A rest stop custodian called 911 at around 6 a.m. after finding him at the Beaumont stop on Highway 400 in Greenwood County. He was identified Thursday night.

"The Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office was able to confirm the identity as a 17 year old juvenile from Oklahoma," the sheriff's office said Friday afternoon. "The investigation is still open in an attempt to figure out the circumstances as to why he was at the rest area in Greenwood County."

A previous update said the sheriff's office was working to contact the boy's family or a guardian. Sheriff Samuels did not say whether they succeeded. 


Previous updates:

Authorities in Greenwood County say they now know the identity of a child with special needs who was found near an area rest stop.

The sheriff's office said on Facebook Thursday night that the child found that morning has been identified and they were working to contact family or a guardian. A rest stop custodian called 911 at around 6 a.m. after finding him at the Beaumont stop on Highway 400.

Sheriff Heath Samuels had no new information to provide Friday morning. Check back for updates. 


Authorities in southeast Kansas need the public's help in identifying a young man with special needs who was found at a rest stop.

Greenwood County Sheriff Heath Samuels said a rest stop custodian called 911 at around 6 a.m. Thursday after finding the young man at the Beaumont stop on Highway 400. He's about 6 feet tall, weighs 220 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes. The sheriff said he may be autistic.

Mike Choens found the young man and said, "He seemed lost. He just seemed kind of lost." 

He added, "I don't think he just walked in here. I couldn't find out who he belonged to. Just concerned me for his well-being."

Sheriff Samuels told KAKE's Lily Wu the man is alive and well but can't talk. His office has contacted area schools, but no one recognized him.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office at (620) 583-5568.

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