In September of 2019 Connerjack Oswalt wandered away from his family's Clearlake, California home and has been missing ever since. Connerjack is autistic and was just 16 years old when he went missing. His family tried desperately to find him, posting and handing out fliers, chasing down fruitless leads, scanning news and social media for any clues. They also moved back to Idaho Falls where Connerjack was born and spent time as a child, thinking that he might find his way there.
His mother, Suzanne Flint told media outlets, “I never stopped looking for him. There wasn’t a day I wasn’t searching for him, in some form or fashion,” she said.
After two and a half years, the family got their first glimmer of hope, when police officers in Park City, Utah encountered a young man shivering and cold at the entrance to a store.
Authorities say that they had encountered Connerjack a couple of times in the weeks before they confronted him at the store. He had been seen pushing a grocery cart around town and it was obvious that he was living on the streets. When deputies found Connerjack they asked him for his name and invited home to sit in their patrol car to warm up. He agreed to sit in the car, but didn't give his name, so the officers scanned his finger. That led to information that didn't match up, so they decided to dig further and to check the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database where they found a missing poster for Connerjack.
Deputies were able to reach Connerjack's mother and confirm his identity based on a distinctive birthmark on his neck.
“We didn’t treat [Connerjack] as a criminal. We treated as somebody that has something deeper that we needed to dig into,” said country Sheriff Justin Martinez. “That intuition is what really reunited this family.”
Connerjack's stepdad and grandfather immediately drove to Park City, to bring Connerjack home.