Connerjack Oswalt Missing: A California teenager was found alive outside a gas station in Utah, police say

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities in Summit County, Utah, had heard of a young man who had been wandering around with a shopping cart for several weeks.

When they met him last Saturday, they found he was reported missing nearly three years ago in Northern California, more than 700 miles away.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a gas station in the greater Park City area on the morning of April 9 after a “concerned community member” reported seeing the man sleeping there, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post . The area is about 40 minutes’ drive from Salt Lake City.

The deputies offered the man a seat in one of their vehicles to warm up and began investigating who he was, the sheriff’s office said. “Through previous interactions and Saturday’s interaction, it was clear to the deputies that the man communicated differently,” the sheriff’s office said, also including a hashtag to its Facebook post to raise awareness of autism.

A dispatcher began trawling through pages on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website and found a missing poster for Connerjack Oswalt after more than a dozen pages.

Oswalt, now 19, was reported missing in September 2019 from Clearlake, California, northwest of Sacramento and about an 11.5-hour drive from Summit County.

Authorities believed it was the same person they found shaking at the gas station.

“Deputies started making calls and were able to get in touch with Connerjack’s mother,” Summit County Sheriff Andrew Wright told CNN in an email.

His mother told authorities Oswalt had a distinctive birthmark on his neck. Deputies found the mark on Oswalt, Wright said.

Although authorities had been cooperating with Oswalt prior to that day, he had not disclosed who he was and police “had no reason to ask for his information because he wasn’t breaking the law,” Wright said.

Oswalt’s stepfather and grandfather went to Park City, Utah to personally identify him and be reunited, Wright told CNN.

In one of two bodycam videos sent to CNN by the sheriff’s office, Oswalt’s stepfather can be seen screaming in disbelief as police show him a mug shot of Oswalt to confirm they are the same person . Wright told CNN Oswalt had a previous arrest warrant.

“Is it him?” Oswalt’s mother can be heard over the phone, which is on speakerphone.

“A bit older, but yes,” replies Oswalt’s stepfather.

“My darling is alive,” the mother can be heard sobbing on the phone. “Can you get him please?”

Oswalt’s mother and stepfather moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, since he went missing, authorities said.

Oswalt is still receiving care and resources and has not yet left for Idaho, Wright said.

The CNN Wire
& 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved. Connerjack Oswalt Missing: A California teenager was found alive outside a gas station in Utah, police say

Dais Johnston

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