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Missing autistic Maine teen found in Jefferson woods

JEFFERSON — An autistic teen, who had run into a wooded area off Route 115 near the Jefferson/Carroll town line was found Monday night after a five-hour search, suffering from insect bites and scratches but otherwise uninjured.

New Hampshire Fish and Game said Matthew Darr, 19, of Lincoln, Maine, was living at the Lancaster Easter Seals residence when he ran off about 6:30 p.m. Monday. An Easter Seals employee was unable to keep up with Darr and lost him in the woods.

Members of New Hampshire State Police, Fish and Game and the United State Forest Service responded with K-9 trackers, following the track through a heavily wooded area, locating clothing items along the way, but the track was lost after dark in a swampy area.

With the teen suffering from a potentially dangerous medical condition, Twin Mountain Fire and Rescue, Whitefield Fire Department and New England K-9 members were asked to help in a broader search.

As teams were about to enter the forest at about 11:40 p.m., members of the Whitefield Fire Departmentf, who had been using a thermal imager along Airport Road, heard Darr's calls for help. The firefighters entered the woods and found the teen approximately 150 yards off the road, barefoot in thick vegetation. The firefighters walked Darr out to the road and a waiting ambulance.

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