Missing 16-year-old Altamonte Springs boy found safe

Joseph Kessel located in Winter Park

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:16:48 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 26 2013 12:42:03 PM EDT
Missing teen reunited with mother
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -

A 16-year-old Altamonte Springs teen was found safe Monday morning after a driver spotted him on a bus, almost five hours after he disappeared.

[LISTEN: 911 call reporting missing boy found]

Joseph Kessel, who was reported missing by his parents, was found on a Lynx bus in Winter Park.  The bus driver reported to Lynx dispatch that someone matching the missing teen''s description was on the bus and police sent her a text with a photo and the driver confirmed that it was Kessel.  He was later reunited with his family.

Kessel, who is non-verbal and has the mental capacity of a 5- or 6-year-old, had vanished from his home in the 600 block of Applewood Avenue in the Springs Oaks Subdivision in Altamonte Springs.

According to Altamonte Springs police, Kessel's parents heard a noise in the house  around 5:30 a.m. and checked it out but did not look in their son's room because the noise hadn't come from that area.

They later woke up to walk their dog and noticed the front door was unlocked and the gate to the front yard was open.  That's when they discovered Kessel was missing, police said.

When detectives brought Kessel home he still had a bus ticket in his hand, but police are still unsure how he got it since he didn't have any money.

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