msnbc.com and NBC News
updated 4/29/2009 6:53:02 PM ET 2009-04-29T22:53:02

As far as anyone knew, Kenton Weaver didn't know how to drive a car and couldn't buy a plane ticket.

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But before dawn, the 13-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome snatched his dad's Ford Explorer from their home in Boca Raton, drove it to the Fort Lauderdale Airport and hopped on a plane going to California.

Kenton was found by police Tuesday night roaming in the San Jose Airport, a couple hours away from where his mother, Kim Casey, lives in Fresno, Calif.

"I can't believe he pulled this off," Casey told the Palm Beach Post. "I'm flabbergasted."

His father, Dean Weaver, would like to know how a 13-year-old with no passport, driver's license or photo ID was able to buy a ticket and get past airport security. Weaver said his son, who used his credit card to book the cross-country flight, can be a handful.

"I think I'd like for him to stay there for a while. I'm obviously not set up here to keep him, though I've tried," the father told the Post.

Casey said her son, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, considered to be a disorder on the autism spectrum, has taken off before.

"Even at 4 or 5 years old we've had problems with this," she said. "He's very bright, but at the same time has very little common sense and few inhibitions."

Kenton has a fascination with planes that borders on obsession, his father said.

"He'll do anything to go to an airport," Weaver said. "He wants to be a pilot. He applies for jobs at the airport. He collects (toy) planes. He's just fascinated."

Though he takes medicine to address mood swings, Kenton had twice in the last week attempted to get to the airport, having to be taken home from a railway station by police.

When Weaver woke up at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and his Explorer was gone and Kenton wasn't in the house, he suspected his son had taken off.

"I immediately knew. I didn't know how far he'd drive, because he hadn't driven before. I was so afraid he was going to hurt someone else with the car," Weaver told the Post. "Was he on a bus? On a plane?"

The car was found on the third level of the airport parking garage, without a scratch on it.

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