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Camp Courageous Camper Found

MONTICELLO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--A Camp Courageous camper is safe tonight, after going missing for nearly 12 hours.

Authorities say the 13-year-old boy has severe autism and apparently strayed from a group while out hiking last night.

Search teams from various Iowa emergency services slowly drove away from Camp Courageous minutes after the missing boy was found.

"Out of this whole situation I can't say enough good things about these guys right here, they did a great job, said camp executive director Charles Becker.

Those guys are the more than 200 men and women who joined in the effort.

"We did a line search straight through the camp grounds to make sure that he was not on the camp grounds himself, said leader of the Jones County emergency response team Corey Roberts.

He wasn't, and the emergency response team continued their search through the night.

Camp officials say they've had missing campers before but this was the longest search so far. They also say they took all the necessary steps to find the boy."

"We give it so many minutes and then we phone in the Monticello Fire Department and then go on to Jones County folks and just kind of increase that search as we go, Becker said.

Rescue teams found the boy swimming in the Maquoketa River after a small but lifesaving tip.

"Look for water because people with Autism have a natural inkling to go towards water and that ended up being accurate, Becker said.

"We approached him. He was in great spirits and was looking forward to a boat ride back to the boat ramp, said Roberts.

After such a rainy, scary night the camp's executive director says things couldn't have ended on a better note.

"I can't put it in words, he said.

Authorities say the boy appears to be okay, but they took him to jones regional medical center for an evaluation.

 
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