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Missing teen with autism not seen on camera since disappearance, deputy says

By Daniel Smithson, Michael Warrick

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    HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — There has not been a confirmed sighting of a missing teen with autism on camera since his disappearance at midnight Sunday, according to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.

The county and statewide search for 15-year-old Sebastian Rogers continues.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Sumner County Chief Deputy Eric Craddock and Emergency Management Agency Director Ken Weidner said the four-day search has spanned 2,000 miles and has yet to provide any confirmation that the boy is alive.

Search-and-rescue dogs also haven’t been able to pick up a scent, Weidner said.

An AMBER Alert has been issued on behalf of Rogers and state and local authorities continue to search for him.

“There’s not a confirmed sighting of Sebastian on camera,” Craddock said.

Rogers has been missing since Feb. 26. He’s 5′5″, 120 pounds, with brown hair, and brown eyes, last seen in Hendersonville, Tennessee, wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants and glasses. The search for the missing teen has been vast, with law enforcement agencies from across Tennessee and Sumner County working day and night to bring him home.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin Police Department, the Hendersonville Police Department and other agencies have crews searching and hoping to find the boy. Authorities have searched by air, by horse, and by foot, and in water.

Crews are tracked by cell phone towers, their paths are marked and once they’re finished searching, they’re assigned a new area to search, Weidner said. After dissuading the public from helping in the search since it began, officials reversed course on Thursday, encouraging the public to search for Sebastian in pairs if they wished.

Authorities want the public to search their property and any surrounding waterways, as those with autism are known to favor water.

“Really wanted to come to the community and ask for your help. We need you to search your properties everyday, morning and night. If there’s a shed or a crawl space or up under your mobile home, or a tarp that’s in your yard. Check it every morning, check it every night,” Craddock said.

Hope still remains that the 15-year-old boy will be found alive.

Weidner said Rogers’ strong will might keep him alive, despite wet, cold weather the past few days.

”One thing I’ve learned about autism is the stamina, pain threshold,” Weidner said. “The drive in these men and women, young boys and young girls is greater than ours.”

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