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Missing autistic man found in Provo Canyon

Published August 13, 2014 4:08 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An autistic man who was missing in Provo Canyon was found Wednesday afternoon.

Stephen Simmons, 20, wandered off Wednesday morning from the large group he was with at South Fork Park.

A volunteer search and rescue team from Utah County began scouring the area after Simmons was reported missing shortly after noon. The search team included a helicopter as well as a posse mounted on horseback, which Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said can be helpful in a land search.

"It can be hard for a helicopter to see down through trees," Cannon said. "When you have people on horseback, and they're riding on the trail, they can cover a lot of ground that you can't see from the air."

Ultimately, however, neither horse nor helicopter discovered Simmons. Instead, he was found stumbling out of the woods by a citizen, who flagged down a car and called police.

Simmons was dehydrated and tired, and medical personnel treated him for minor cuts and bruises, Cannon said.

hstevens@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Harry_Stevens