A teenager who vanished last Friday from Westchester County, N.Y., has been found safe in Manhattan, officials said Thursday.
Police said officers spotted Pierce Crowley, 15, just after midnight Wednesday night with a group of other teenagers in Washington Heights, in the northern part of New York City. They questioned Crowley, and once they determined it was the teen, officers returned him to his family's house in Rye.
"He was unharmed, appeared to be in good health and good spirits," White Plains Police Lt. Eric Fischer told msnbc.com.
Police, family members, and hundreds of volunteers had been searching for Crowley, plastering fliers around Manhattan, Westchester and the Bronx. On the day he vanished, he had been at White Plains' New York-Presbyterian Hospital in what his parents described in an email to friends as "a fragile state."
He hadn't been feeling well when he disappeared, his parents had said, but didn't elaborate. The medical center where he was last seen is one of the top psychiatric hospitals in the nation.
According to police, a friend of Crowley's had come forward to say the two left the hospital and went to The Cheesecake Factory restaurant together, Newsday reported.
They then took a cab to the White Plains Metro-North train station, the report said. Crowley's friend took a train to New York City while Crowley stayed behind in the cab.
Crowley had $40 in his pocket, no credit card and no cell phone, police told Newsday.
"We were treating it as a missing persons case. At no time did we ever have any information that foul play was suspected," Fischer told msnbc.com.
On Thursday morning, a Facebook page called "Find Pierce Crowley," which had garnered nearly 7,000 fans, was updated with a single sentence: "Pierce is safe back home, thank you for all your help!"
Crowley's parents did not return a phone call from msnbc.com, but his mother, Gretchen, told Newsday, "We're just so incredibly relieved, I can't even put it into words. He's here and he's safe and obviously everybody is thrilled here."
He was happy to back with his family, a White Plains public safety commissioner said.
"He looks like he just walked out and decided to have an adventure," David Chong told Newsday. "It's like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack."
Tips about Crowley's location, including one Wednesday night about him being in the Washington Heights area, had poured in throughout the investigation, the White Plains police said.
Crowley is a student at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, where he plays hockey and lacrosse and runs cross-country, Newsday said.
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