Police Hopeful That Missing Autistic Teen Is Safe

The Ocean City Police Department is seeking help locating 16-year-old Natalie Woolerton.

Two days after an autistic teen was first reported missing, the Ocean City Police Department is hopeful that the 16-year-old girl is safe and healthy.

Investigators are "headed in a positive direction," according to Ocean City Police Capt. Steven Ang.

He said police do not believe that she's with anybody or in any danger beyond the fact that she's likely driving her mother's vehicle, despite the fact that she has no driving experience.

"She's doing a hell of a job hiding from us," Ang said.

Natalie Woollerton was last seen in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Nov. 28).

Woollerton is autistic and may have driven away from her mother's residence on the 1500 block of Central Avenue in her mother's car: a 2009 light-blue four-door Lexus (IS250) with a temporary New Jersey license tag P101925. The vehicle may also have a second license plate: New Jersey SL487K.

Police say Woollerton left the residence voluntarily. Woollerton does not take medication but may become confused if approached by law enforcement or unknown persons, according to Ang.

She is not believed to have a cell phone or cash. The rear of the vehicle may have damage due to a minor traffic accident.

The girl is 5'7" and 150 pounds and said to be familiar with Upper Township.

Anybody with information about the location of Woolerton is asked to call the Ocean City Police Department at 609-399-9111 as soon as possible.


Jesse James December 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I don't care about the words spoken..who said..or what..I care about this young Lady ( yet child-like)..I have delt with Autism. .and the Flairs..I assume an "Amber Alert" Is or has been posted..on T.V and Radio ? With her Pictures And Auto information. .every hour* Go to her friends..Schools..places of interest to her.. (like how much gas was in the car ? How far could it go on this fuel ? All I care about is finding this Young Girl..my prayers sent..and God speed JJ..
Stuart Haskin December 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM
It's always important to treat cases involving a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or anyone with a developmental disability or mental illness, as a missing persons case. Even if it is suspected that the person voluntarily left the home, there is still a pressing need to locate him or her because people with developmental disabilities are at a higher risk of falling victim to environmental and/or situational dangers; especially since they may not have developed boundaries, so they're at a very high risk for predatory behaviors, such as violent and sexual assault, robbery, etc. To help in the search for Natalie, or any missing child, your best chance of recovery is to encourage a massive, coordinated response effort by law enforcement, media & volunteers. Other suggestions: -Ask law enforcement to enter your child's information into the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC) at once. -Notify the FBI; their resources are unsurpassed in law enforcement. -Notify all local media assignment desks. Work with the media to raise community & public awareness. Include your child's most recent photo, markings, telltale behaviors, places he/she is familiar with, etc. -Final a local printer willing to donate services for creating flyers, posters and notices. Volunteers can help you post flyers in highly visible areas. -USE SOCIAL MEDIA! It's your child, so YOU take control of the search. The more eyes the better. The 24-hour window of a successful find is a small one.
Stuart Haskin December 04, 2012 at 12:44 AM
For those wondering, I'm Stuart and I am the executive director at GET SAFE, which provides personal safety training, as well as advocacy, prevention, intervention and recovery programs, for "at-risk" populations, including persons with developmental disabilities. From reading the comments above it's good to hear that so many people are dedicated to finding Natalie, and can empathize with her family. You can visit our website www.getsafeusa.com for more information on safety education for persons with developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers, as well as law enforcement and other community members. Educating and raising awareness of autism spectrum disorders & other developmental disabilities is the first step in creating safer, more inclusive communities!
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Lori Gold March 12, 2013 at 03:15 PM
**NATALIE IS SAFE!** I cannot find Patch's UPDATE for some reason. (?) http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/ocean-city-general-news/32367-ocean-city-missing-autistic-teen-found-in-texas-.html


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