Long Island teen with autism found after he went missing for 15 hours

MALVERNE, Long Island — A Hempstead teen with autism was found Tuesday after he went missing for 15 hours amid freezing overnight temperatures, officials said.

Police said Joseph “Michael” Barbella, 17, had not been seen since 5 p.m. Monday. He ran away from his mother after he was startled by a loud noise. He was last seen leaving a bowling alley at the corner of Malverne and Hempstead Avenues.

Malverne Superintendent of Highways Paul Jessup, who headed the search team looking for the teen, said they tracked him down at 8:20 a.m. a little less than a mile from the bowling alley. A neighbor saw Joseph's sweatshirt draped over a fence and then spotted him in nearby bushes.

Jessup said he is being taken to a hospital, where his mother will join him.

Temperatures in the area overnight were below the freezing mark.