20240219 felix thomas
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Sharjah: An 18-year-old boy with autism, who had reportedly gone missing from Sharjah on Saturday night, was found at Dubai International Airport late night on Sunday, according to his father.

Felix Jeby Thomas was reunited with his family after a passenger alerted about his presence at the airport, his father Jeby Thomas told Gulf News early this morning.

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“He is safe, but exhausted,” he said over the phone from Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah where Felix has been admitted.

Felix had gone missing from City Centre in Sharjah where he had gone shopping with his mother and younger sister. Sharjah Police had filed a missing report based on the family’s complaint and a massive search was launched to trace the boy who has communication challenges.

The family hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala had posted missing reports on social media and had approached buildings in the area to check their CCTV footage to help find him.

After spending a harrowing time for more than 24 hours, Jeby Thomas said he got a call from a Keralite who travelled to Kuwait via Dubai International Airport.

“He had grown suspicious after seeing my son at the airport without any documents and nobody to accompany him. After landing in Kuwait, he checked the news and social media and contacted me asking if my son was missing. That is how we got to know Felix was at the airport.”


He said his nephew Dijith, who was also searching for Felix, along with his friend, rushed to the airport and found him over there.

Meanwhile, the parents, who were in Sharjah, went to the hospital. “He is too tired. He had not slept and his legs were swollen after walking for a long time. So, we wanted to get him treated first,” said Jeby Thomas.

The father took the opportunity to thank the passenger who helped find his son and everyone who helped in searching for him. “We want to thank the police, the church members, the school (Al Ibtisama Centre for People with Disabilities in Sharjah), the team from my company, the media, friends, relatives and all the people who helped through social media and in person.”

“We are extremely happy that Felix has been reunited with his family. All of us were trying to find him. Around 100 people from the Nesto team were there in person to offer moral support to Jeby and to search for Felix,” said a spokesperson from Nesto Hypermarket where Jeby Thomas works.

The father added that the family had been advised to visit the police station to close the case later in the day.