Kahil Gray, 15, was found early Thursday morning by a jogger in Glenview, roughly 26 miles from where he was last seen. Lauren Petty was on hand for the tearful reunion.
A 15-year-old boy with autism who went missing Tuesday from Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago has been found about 26 miles away in Glenview.
Police News Affairs said Kahil Gray was found safe by a jogger and taken to Glenbrook Hospital, where he was reunited with his family.
"Thanks to God for having found Kahil," his mother said. "Words cannot express how happy I am."
"He is smiling," said Kahil's Aunt Sandra Gray. "He let me hug and kiss him and he doesn't always do that."
The jogger told police he recognized Kahil from media reports and said he saw the boy on a bike path near Harms Road between Golf Road and Lake Avenue.
Sandra Gray said the family believes Kahil walked the whole way to Glenview. She says they can't thank the jogger enough.
"We are so grateful, a deep-down heartfelt grateful," she said.
Kahil was last seen with his parents picking up some papers around 4 p.m. Tuesday at the hospital. His father said one minute the two of them were joking around and the next Kahil was gone.
"We were in a playful mood and while at the elevator waiting, he pushed the button to go down, and I said, 'Buddy, we're going up,'" said Michael Gray, "and the next thing I knew he's running around me and went around the corner."
Hospital surveillance video shows Kahil leaving the building and running north on South Cottage Grove Avenue. Friends and family members passed out fliers Wednesday afternoon with the boy's picture and canvassed in nearby Washington Park looking for any signs of the boy.
Kahil has autism and only speaks a few words, his family said. They said that besides Kahi's limited speech, he is very friendly, which worried his family that someone could have taken advantage of him.
"I feel helpless at this point," said Kahil's brother, Micah Gray, on Wednesday. "Being a bigger brother, there's only so much I can do, but this is definitely is something that I feel I have responsibility in."