Update: Missing autistic man found after father died while pair hiked in Utah County

Michael Laughlin, 21, is missing in the Jacob's Ladder area of Utah County. He is described as severely autistic. Photo courtesy: Utah County Sheriff's Office

UTAH COUNTY, Utah , Oct. 1, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A severely autistic man who went missing Friday when his father died while the two were hiking in the Jacob’s Ladder area of Utah County was found, safe, on Saturday morning.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon, of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, said the younger man, 21-year-old Michael Laughlin, and his father, Charles Laughlin, 57, both of West Jordan, came to the area on Thursday morning.

Cannon said it is believed that Charles Laughlin died sometime Friday. His body was found by other hikers, who notified the Draper Police Department at about 3:30 p.m. Draper police responded initially, but because the area is outside of Draper, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene.

Cannon said when the deceased man’s wife was contacted, she immediately asked if her son was all right. At that point, authorities began looking for Michael.

The search continued through Friday evening. Cannon announced on Twitter just before noon Saturday that Michael Laughlin had been located.

“Michael Laughlin has been found safe! It will be a while to re-unite him with his mother!,” the tweet said.

“Michael’s mother is en route by ATV to be re-united with him,” Cannon added, about 10 minutes later.


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