OLEAN – Police say the young autistic man who was missing for nearly two weeks in the Olean area was trying to gain some independence by staying in a vacant home.
City of Olean Police say 22-year-old Cole Geise was spotted by a shift supervisor at a local Wendy’s Restaurant. The employee followed Geise while calling police to report the sighting.
Officers were able to make contact with the young man at a nearby park before connecting him back with his family.
For 13 days the community searched the city and the nearby woods for Geise. However, police now say Geise was living off of food from the dumpster at a nearby Country Fair deli.
“The community was great about it. They stepped up. They helped,” Steve Geise, Cole’s father, told our news partner WIVB. “It feels amazing that’s all to have him back home, to know that he’s safe. He had some bruises and banged up a little bit, but he’ll be alright.”
His home, the vacant house and the Wendy’s restaurant were each about a mile apart.
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