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Search Widens for Missing Marlboro Autistic Teen [AUDIO]

As the temperature drops, volunteers are combing the streets, looking for a 19-year-old autistic Marlboro man, Michael Karwan, who wandered off last Tuesday.

Members of the Guardian Angels organize search for Michael Karwan in Freehold. (Photo by Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media)

Members of the Guardian Angels organized volunteers to canvas areas of Route 9 and hang posters with pictures of Karwan. Tuesday was the second night that Ed Moldaver and members of the Guardian Angels set up in the parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Good’s by the Freehold Raceway Mall.

As many as 25 volunteers hung flyers, as far north as Old Bridge and as far south as Freehold, stopping at bus stops, stores, fast food restaurants, and motels; anywhere Karwan could be recognized.

“We’re just going to go up and down [Route] nine like we did yesterday (Sunday),” Moldaver said. “We’re going to go into downtown Freehold, we already have people spread out in the mall, and the more people that come the more area we can cover.”

There has been much speculation of where Karwan, a high-functioning autistic, could have gone since leaving his home Tuesday after an argument.

Karwan did not have a car, identification, or his cell phone with him. He was seen on surveillance cameras in the parking lot of a supermarket in nearby Freehold and attempted to check into a motel. Some reports have claimed the 19-year-old boarded a bus for New York City, where he visited with family and his father has an office, but Karwan’s family doubt he has left the area. Members of Guardian Angels, as well as Karwan’s parents, have posted flyers at New York’s Penn Station as a precaution.

Time is of the essence to the find the teen, especially since temperatures are dipping well below freezing at night. Though he left without identification, it is believed Karwan had several hundred dollars in cash with him, according to members of the Guardian Angels, who have kept contact with the teen’s father.

Though Karwan is a high-functioning autistic individual, members close to the family say given the environment and his condition, he could exhibit the actions of a child between five and eight-years-old.

An e-mail sent to Townsquare Media from a source close to the Karwan family stressed some points for the public to remember:

  • Michael likely has a pretty scruffy full beard by now.
  • He is mild tempered and very nice. He will engage in conversation and is very polite. His appearances may not make him initially appear as such, especially being 6′, 200 lbs.
  • Anyone sighting Michel is being asked to immediately call 911 and indicate it is about a missing person sighting. As officers are on the way. Please also call the other #s listed so coordinated efforts can be followed up on with the local PD from the search and rescue end.
  • If possible, please keep an eye on Michael and track his whereabouts until police arrive.

Moldaver reminds that while Karwan looks like an average teenager, there is a good chance he will be acting differently.

“His frame of mind is not going to be great, so he could get scared of noises or crowds, so you would be able to tell that something’s not right,” said Moldaver.

Moldaver says they will continue the search for ‘as long as it takes.’ He urges residents to volunteer.

“The more people that we have, the more area that we can cover, and the more eyeballs we have out there.”

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