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Joey Peterson

MISSING: Frantic search for boy with autism, who vanished during frigid weather, enters day 10

Wyoming authorities are searching for a teen boy who disappeared from his Casper home 10 days ago and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Natrona County Sheriff’s Office reports that Joey Peterson, 16, left his home off of Goose Creek Circle and Hat Six Road, a little before noon on November 10. According to his family, Joey walked outside wearing a red-hooded sweatshirt, pajama pants, and no shoes, which wouldn’t have protected him thoroughly, as temperatures dropped below freezing that night.

“Joseph is autistic who functions at a higher level, but is not self-sufficient and does not problem solve at an age-appropriate level,” Natrona County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Ellis said.

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A witness saw Joey running through the fields south of his home on the day he vanished. Search crews found his footprints miles from his home on Saturday, headed toward a mountainous terrain. On Tuesday, search crews found another set of footprints, also believe to be Joey’s, on the base of Casper Mountain.

NCSO press conference, update on search for Joey Peterson, 11/20/19

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“Search teams comprised of mounted searchers, tracking experts, and K9 teams are converging from both sides of an area where Joey is believed to have walked toward,” Ellis said.

Due to the weather conditions, authorities said the chance of finding the boy alive isn’t likely. Foul play is not suspected.

Joey is described as a white male who stands 5-feet-9-inches tall and weighs around 120 pounds. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 235-9300.

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[Feature Photo: Joey Peterson/Handout]