Missing Oklahoma teen with special needs found unharmed

OKLAHOMA COUNTY – Authorities have located a missing teen who has special needs.

Officials with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said 17-year-old Jay Cross disappeared from his home near Britton and Peebly Roads on Saturday afternoon.

“Apparently, at about 2 p.m., the parents had left to go get some supplies. They left the 17-year-old alone here at the home to do some chores,” said Sheriff John Whetsel.

When they returned home, Cross was nowhere to be found.

“He doesn’t have a telephone. He likes to stay around here. He hasn’t been actually diagnosed has autistic, but he does have autistic tendencies,” Whetsel said.

Whetsel said Cross often goes on walks, sometimes all the way to Luther, and Saturday’s storms could have interfered with that.

“The initial search was started about 7:30 on Saturday evening. That was halted at about 3 a.m. Sunday morning because of the weather. We started again at daybreak after the rain had stopped,” Whetsel said.

The OCSO called in the mounted horse unit, ATVs and the dive team, and the Oklahoma City Police Department sent up their helicopter to hopefully help bring Cross home.

“He may try to go into a convenience store, grocery store to get some food but doesn’t have any money on him. He hasn’t eaten since Saturday morning. So, just a lot of things not in our favor, but we’re going to continue, but hopefully he got cold, he hunkered down, but we think he may be disoriented today because of his autistic tendencies,” Whetsel said.

Early Monday morning, authorities announced Cross had been located unharmed at an Oklahoma City shelter.

He has since reunited with his family.