22 Jul 2013

Autistic boy found near Wanaka

5:16 am on 22 July 2013

After being missing for 18 hours, a Wanaka boy was found walking in the opposite direction to where searchers were looking on Sunday.

Eamon Smith, 11, who has autism, disappeared from a yard where his father has a workshop, in the township of Luggate on Saturday afternoon.

Eamon Smith went missing just before 4pm on Saturday, and five search and rescue teams, a jet boat, and helicopter spent the entire night looking for him.

Senior Constable Mike Johnston says he was found on Sunday morning walking down a dirt path about 3.5 kilometres from where he went missing.

Mr Johnston says a member of the public saw the boy walking in an area where the police hadn't searched yet.

He says he's gone missing before, and police had been checking the areas of scrub and bush where he's previously been found.