Teen missing from Tyler State Park located unharmed

Teen missing from Tyler State Park located unharmed
Law enforcement and dozens of volunteers successfully located a teenager who went missing from Tyler State Park. (Source: KLTV staff)

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Law enforcement and dozens of volunteers successfully located a teenager who went missing from Tyler State Park.

According to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Kevin Wickliffe, 17, was found unharmed early Monday on County Road 35, just north of Interstate 20.

Kevin Wickliffe
Kevin Wickliffe (Source: Smith County Sheriff's Office)

“He is being checked out by EMS but appears to be in good condition,” said Larry Christian, Smith County Sheriff’s Office public information officer.

The teen, who has autism, went missing around 6 p.m. Sunday on the northwest trails at the park, located two miles north of Interstate 20 on Farm to Market Road 14.

Wickliffe had been hiking with his family near the Blackjack Campground.

Texas Department of Public Safety helicopters were called in to assist from the air, while bloodhounds aided teams on the ground. Thermal imaging was also used in the search.

Units from Red Springs Volunteer Fire Department, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Parks & Wildlife park police, game wardens, Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice were on the scene.

Late Sunday, a team of 85 people conducted a grid search of the area, covering more than 500 acres.

Dozens of volunteers from the community showed up to help.

“Fantastic effort by all who assisted in the safe return of this young man. The outpouring of care and compassion from the community was amazing and very much appreciated," Christian said.

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