Police: Missing autistic teen found 4 miles from home

Posted at 11:20 AM, Feb 23, 2014

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)-- Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Smith returned home unharmed Sunday around 2 p.m.

Smith had been reported missing six hours earlier, which initiated an extensive search for him.

"Thank the Lord," screamed the teen's mother when she heard the news that her son was OK.

Police said Smith was found at a relative's house on Hungary Springs Road, approximately four miles away.  Police are continuing to investigate how Smith got there.

henricboyNicholas Jermaine Smith, 13, was reported missing around 8 a.m. Sunday.

The boy's mother said her son is high functioning on the autism scale.  Family friends said Smith is quiet and shy, but said he is always polite and kind.

Smith attends Brookland Middle School.

During the search, Henrico Police and Fire crews deployed planes and canine units.  First responders handed out flyers at businesses on Rt. 1, near Smith's home.

Smith's family requested privacy once he returned home, saying they wanted to be together.