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Cops: Missing Franklin Square man with autism found

Joseph Barbella of Franklin Square after he was

Joseph Barbella of Franklin Square after he was reported missing in January 2017. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

A Franklin Square man with autism who went missing from his home early Tuesday was found about 12 hours later, Nassau Police officials said.

Joseph Barbella, 18, was last seen at his home on Commonwealth Avenue at 2 a.m., police said.

Barbarella, who is considered “a high-risk person” because of his condition, was found on Tuesday afternoon in a yard of a home on Rintin Street in Franklin Square, about a half mile away from his home, officials said.

“We had some concerns because the storm was coming and the time was ticking away,” said police spokesman Det. Michael Bitsko. “We used every resource that was available to us.”

The search party included Nassau police, local volunteer firefighters, cadets in the academy and even local businesses, officials said.

Police asked residents to search their backyards and cars to see if they spotted the missing teen.

Then, just before 2:30 p.m., a resident found the teen shivering in the bushes, police said.

“That’s where we anticipated he would be,” Bitsko said. “We had so many people searching in the streets we knew he wouldn’t be there. We would have seen him.”

Barbella was taken to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia symptoms, police said. He was in good condition.

The incident was the third time in 14 months that Barbella has been reported missing. Barbella disappeared for 15 hours in January and for about 13 hours in January 2017.

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