Community helps find missing 10-year-old boy with autism in New Jersey

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A non-verbal 10-year-old boy with autism is safe at home in New Jersey after the entire community helped find him.

It happened around 7 p.m. Wednesday in South Brunswick, after a communication mix-up between the boy's parents. The father was on the way to the store, and the mother believed the child, Ethan Olivacce, was with the father.

Nest camera video shows the father pulling away in the car, and Ethan running out of the front door and after the car. But the father did not see the boy running after him and drove away.

When he returned without their son, the mother asked about Ethan's whereabouts, and a review of their camera revealed what happened.

Police went door to door looking for the child, and a Nixle text alert went out to community members who began searching for the boy as well.

A man who got the alert on his phone and who himself has a niece with autism went out with a flashlight and found Ethan around 10 p.m.

Police said that without the cooperation and participation of the community, this story could have had a tragic ending.

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