A missing autistic Atlantic City teen who sparked a massive water search was found just after 10 p.m. walking along the Route 52 causeway.
Eric Meijia, 15, was reported missing at 7 p.m., sparking a search of the water off West End Avenue in Atlantic City that included U.S. Coast Guard helicopters, along with city and state police.
But the teen, who cannot communicate but responds to his name, was found unharmed by Ocean City police walking along the causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point, Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.
Sgt. Mazzuca of the Ocean City police, saw the teen walking against traffic and stopped him.
The teen's mother, along with Atlantic City Juvenile Bureau Detective Eric Cruse, were en route to the Ocean City Police Department to pick him up shortly after 11 p.m., McMenamin said.
Meijia left his home on the 400 block of North Harrisburg Avenue while his mother was making dinner, according to police.
Earlier, Atlantic City and State Police, along with a helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard, were on scene at West End and Trenton avenues searching the water for Mejia, said Fire Chief Dennis Brooks, who had crews assisting at the scene. The New Jersey State Police assisted with a scent dog.
There were several people assisting in the search, including those on Jet Skis and in boats. Fire trucks shined searchlights on to the water. Crews searched along the shore using flashlights.
Brooks said police told him this is the second time the teen has gone missing, and that the first time he was located by the water.