Cecilia DowdFeb 13, 2018, 12:21 pmFeb 13, 2018, 6:56 pm

Teen with autism who went missing in Malverne found, police say

Authorities say Joseph ‘Michael’ Barbella wandered off after a loud noise startled him


MALVERNE --- Nassau County police confirmed that a missing teen from Franklin Square who's on the autism spectrum was found safe on Macintosh Road Tuesday morning. Joseph "Michael" Barbella, 17, had been missing for more than 12 hours .

According to detectives, Barbella wandered off from the San-Dee Lanes bowling alley on Francis Street in after he was startled by a loud noise and left bowling the alley on Hempstead Avenue.

Police say he has a history of going missing and is known to hide under cars and in unlocked sheds, garages and under cars.

Word of Barbella’s disappearance spread quickly on social media. A post alone by Malverne police was shared almost 6,000 times. Scores of strangers joined police, firefighters and volunteers in the search for Barbella in and around the community.

Police say Barbella was taken to Nassau University Medical Center where he is expected to make a full recovery.

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