SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A teen missing from a south metro community has been found nearly two years later.
On Tuesday, the Spalding County Sheriff's Office announced on Facebook that 17-year-old Aubrey Carroll has been found.
"Missing person Aubrey Jayce Carroll...Alive and well. Case Closed," the sheriff posted on Facebook, along with a photo of the smiling teen.According to the sheriff's office, Carroll was 15-years-old when he went missing. 11Alive's sister-station in Macon WMAZ said the teen was reported missing after he didn't return home from Spalding County High School on May 26, 2016.
After more nearly two years of searching, though, he was found.
In a video shared by the Spalding County Sheriff's Office, Carroll can be seen waving, saying "I'm alright, I'm OK."
"I'd like to thank y'all so much for all your prayers and looking out for my mama," he said. "I appreciate y'all so much."
In a press release from the Spalding County Sheriff's Office, the discovery of Carroll was a joint effort with the FBI and Texas Rangers.
Sheriff Darrell Dix stated after a recent brief with Carroll's parents, officials showed them a Facebook page that Carroll had launched under an assumed identity.
Dix told Carroll's parents that since the teen left, he had no less than five personal contacts with law enforcement agencies that ranged from Alabama to Arizona.
"He traveled extensively on the west coast and midwest. During this time, he became a part of a group of people who live by bartering, operating with cash only, and traveling from state to state," Sheriff Dix said in the statement. "They basically looked like a group of people from the Woodstock era in their clothing and lifestyle.”
Sheriff Dix stated that a family member was able to get Carroll in contact with his mother so he could ultimately return home to Georgia.
"These messages occurred over several days, and we allowed Aubrey to pick a location where he felt safe. Last night I received a call that Aubrey was with his mom and was safe. He agreed to meet with me and Lt. Mike Morris so we could question him about why and how he disappeared, and basic questions about his wellbeing and safety," Dix continued in the statement.
Sheriff Dix said Carroll's story is "absolutely amazing" but ultimately "how the story ended doesn't matter" and "who gets credit doesn't matter."
Dix finished saying both Carroll and his mother wanted to send a message to those who are missing a loved one.
"Keep praying, keep looking, and keep your faith," Dix wrote. "Miracles happen."
Meanwhile, in the Facebook Live, Carroll expressed that he is happy to be home.
"I've been smiling, and y'all should do the same," he said.