Justin Bailey is found unharmed | ParkRecord.com
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Justin Bailey is found unharmed

by Patrick Parkinson, of the Record staff

Jason Woolstenhulme earned hero status Tuesday afternoon when he realized that the man walking down the road in Weber Canyon was Justin Bailey.

Bailey who suffers from autism, was reported missing Sunday.

According to Woolstenhulme, Bailey was standing in the road near the intersection of New Lane and the Weber Canyon Road when he happened to drive by. Bailey was wet and scared, Woolstenhulme said.

Woolstenhulme, who said he knows Bailey’s family and was aware of the search effort, invited the disoriented man to sit in his truck and immediately called the sheriff’s department.

"Hey, I’ve got your guy," he reportedly told Sheriff Dave Edmunds. Woolstenhulme, age 23, was working at a construction site in the area and said he was about to turn around and go back up the canyon when he saw Bailey.

Ray and Jen Bailey were especially worried about their son after a note was found suggesting that Bailey wanted to die when he left his home Sunday, the authorities say.

Kamas resident Justin Bailey was reported missing from the Meadowview Apartments at 530 S. 70 East at roughly 8 p.m. Sunday.

"The note explains that he is leaving because he is not happy with his condition," Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Josh Wall said. "He is frustrated with the way his condition is progressing."

Bailey suffers from autism and depression and requires medication. Wall stopped short of calling the letter he left a suicide note.

"He doesn’t say, ‘I’ve got a gun, I’m walking out back, I’m going to shoot myself,’" Wall said. "So we’re not really calling it a suicide note. But it does express that he is unhappy with the situation."

Bailey spilled water Sunday in the kitchen because hand tremors he experiences have worsened, the man’s mother, Jen Bailey said.

"He had a hard time cleaning it up," the mother said. "He’s been acting a little odd over the past couple of days."

Deputies quickly accounted for several guns inside the home when the note was found, Wall said.

Two confirmed sightings of Bailey had been previously reported near New Lane Road in the Oakley area by people who know the man, Wall said.

Appealing to searchers on Monday Justin’s father, Ray Bailey told reporters, "He doesn’t have the ability to reason."

Bailey has the mentality of a 7-year-old. He is fascinated by weather systems, climate change and collects flashlights.

"He is practically a weatherman, without pearly white teeth and a tan," Ray Bailey said. "I don’t think he would intentionally go out and hurt himself."

But the missing man had never been on his own before.

"Essentially, this is his first jaunt into the wild by himself," Ray Bailey said. "We don’t believe he has had any opportunity to explore the world, so, right now, this is a big deal."

Jen Bailey said her biggest fear was that Justin was not equipped to fend for himself.

"He would be incapable of determining whether or not you are friend or foe," Ray Bailey said.

Tuesday, searchers used a helicopter, search dogs and four-wheelers looking for Bailey in eastern Summit County. Some feared the young man might have been abducted.

"We’ve beat the streets to death," Wall explained Monday before Woolstenhulme stumbled across the target of their efforts .

While waiting for the police and Justin’s family Woolstenhulme said, "I was just trying to keep him calm."


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