A missing nonverbal teen from California was found after a rescuer heard him clinking rocks together in the wilderness of Crescenta Valley Park.
The 16-year-old, who is developmentally disabled, was missing for about seven hours.
The teen and several family members were spending the day at Crescenta Valley Park in Glendale, Calif., when he went missing.
The Montrose Search and Rescue Team, a branch of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, was called shortly before noon on April 3 to assist in the search.
According to CNN, John Gilbert, coordinator for the Montrose Search and Rescue Department, said the teen “was last seen walking straight up a hillside in what the family called an ‘uncharacteristic‘ move.”
After several hours of searching for the unnamed teen, a member of the Montrose search party “heard what sounded like the clinking of rocks together,” police reported on Facebook.
The rescuer recalled that, while the mother of the missing teen was briefing the search party, she mentioned her son had “an interest in playing with rocks,” police wrote.
The rescuer who heard the sounds directed the Burbank PD airship to search down the nearby canyon.
The effort proved fruitful, as approximately 400 feet (122 metres) from the side of a fire road, the boy was found.
The initial rescuer who heard the teen’s rocks clinking climbed down the mountainside to make contact with the missing person.
Police reported that the team member recognized “the sensitivity of the situation” and “worked to build a rapport with the teenager.”
The report continues, claiming that after the team member gained the trust of the teen, they led him up the mountainside to safety.
Once he reached the top of the mountainside, the teen was treated by paramedics and returned to his family.
CNN reported the teen had no notable injuries.
“Our Department was thrilled this incident had a happy ending,” wrote the department on Facebook.