AIKEN, SC. (WJBF) – From panic to peace, 15-year-old Aiden Conaster has been found, after going missing for the last 5 days.
“I actually got a phone call this morning that he’d been found, and burst into tears,” said Gretchen Iakovidis. She is the main admin for the “Bring Aiden Home” Facebook page, and a close friend of the Conaster family.
Iakovidis has known the Conaster family for several years, and she says after getting the word he went missing, she knew what she had to do next.
“As soon as I heard word that he was missing, my daughter was like ‘Mom, we’ve gotta go find him,” said Iakovidis. “So as soon as I found out that Aiden was missing, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, wow, let’s start finding this kid.”
After getting the word out on social media, hundreds-including Aiken Public Safety officers- came out to search for the teen over the weekend in Aiken.
Those searchers didn’t have any luck until word came Monday morning that he was found.
According to a release from ADPS, Aiden was around 7 am Monday morning, located at a residence in Rabun County, Georgia: about 3 and a half hours from Aiken.
Public Safety Captain Marty Sawyer says despite people trying to reach Aiden, he was the one who reached out to family.
“He actually called a family member. Sometime this morning, and they in turn got in touch with local law enforcement. We had an idea he was in North Georgia, we just didn’t know where, but this just verifies we were right and were on the right track,” said Sawyer.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety was assisted by the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office to locate the 15-year-old.
While details about why or how he got to North Georgia are still being investigated, the important thing is that he is back in the CSRA, safe and sound.
“Right now he is at AU,” said Sawyer, “just being checked out because of his medical condition. I have an investigator with him and his family right now talking to them.”
His step-mother, Amber, is with him at AU as well.
As Aiden continues to be evaluated, this has now become an active criminal investigation.
More details will be released in the coming days.