Autistic man recovers at home |

Autistic man recovers at home

A 20-year-old autistic man in Kamas was recovering at home this week after he was lost for two nights in South Summit.

Oakley resident Jason Woolstenhulme, 23, spotted Justin Bailey walking along Weber Canyon Road Tuesday afternoon about two miles east of State Road 32.

"That was the target of the search, that whole north bench area in Oakley, and he’s lucky that Jason was out there," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said. "It’s certainly Woolstenhulme country over there."

Woolstenhulme, a construction worker, added that, "I was just lucky to be coming down the canyon."

"[Bailey] said that he was scared," Woolstenhulme said.

The nearly 48-hour search began when Bailey’s parents reported him missing June 15.

"I’m going to throw that kid a party," the man’s mom, Jen Bailey said after her son was found. "Then his dad and I are going to have to talk about some changes security wise."

She explained that her son became lost in the town of Oakley just a few miles north of his home.

"He didn’t know where the road was, he didn’t know where anything was," Jen Bailey said.

The man was located west of the intersection of the New Lane and Weber Canyon roads.

"I asked him about the clouds that he saw the last couple of days," the mother said, adding that weather systems fascinate her son.

Bailey was wet, sunburned, dehydrated and ill when he was found, she said.

"He said he wasn’t going to do this again," Jen Bailey said.

Justin Bailey was released in good condition Wednesday from Heber Valley Medical Center.

A helicopter, search dogs and four-wheelers were used to look for him in eastern Summit County. Two people spotted the missing man in the Oakley area.

Bailey has the mentality of about a 7-year-old and a note he left behind indicated he was unhappy with his condition.

"This obviously had some thought behind it," his mother said. "I just assured him that he would not be in trouble."

Bailey drank river water, but did not eat or spend any of the roughly $30 he had while lost.

"I was scared to death right at the outset," Jen Bailey said. "I have been every time he disappeared."

Bailey becomes more aware of his autism as he gets older, she lamented.

"It’s hard to watch him struggle," she said. "It’s hard to know that he knows something is not right."

Edmunds said investigators hope to interview Bailey when he feels better.

"We would like to be able to go in there and get inside his mind to see what he was thinking," the sheriff said.

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