UPDATE: Taylor Daniels was found safe in Houston Friday morning. He was able to get some money out of the kindness of others and take a bus from Utah to Houston. He then borrowed a cell phone from a taxi cab driver and called his mom. He is currently staying with some cousins in Houston while his parents fly back to Houston.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A family from Houston, Texas is in Utah searching for their missing son. 17-year-old Taylor Daniels vanished from a special needs school in Ogden nearly a week ago.
The Daniels family visits their son in Ogden every month, but they've never been to Utah for a trip like this.
“We just feel now, every second, every hour is precious time because we want to get him found before he gets too far away,” said Steve Daniels.
Taylor’s parents and his uncle and aunt flew into Salt Lake Thursday to aid in the search for their son. The 17-year-old is autistic and has been at the Waterfall Canyon Academy for the last five months for help transitioning into independent living. On Friday night, for the fourth time,Taylor took off.
Rich Dimick, Director of the transitional program at the Waterfall Canyon Academy told ABC 4 Utah, "The first time that he ran off was approximately 30 days ago and he did an overnight stay in Salt Lake kind of on the streets. He came back and the first thing he wanted was a hug."
Taylor was never gone longer than a day. Police, his parents and his teachers thought he'd return after just a couple of hours, but now it's been nearly a week.
Amy Daniels said, "I just can't believe in my heart of hearts that he wouldn't be contacting us if he could."
He has no car, no cell phone and no money. His friends at the Waterfall Canyon Academy say he's very vulnerable because he would do just about anything to make a friend.
"My worse case fear is that he is being taken advantage of by somebody with less than true intentions,” said Dimick.
His parents hope getting the word out will help Taylor know that he's not in trouble and that it's time to come home.
"Taylor we're here, we're here. We're right here for you,” said Amy Daniels. “Contact us, come out and call us. We're here in Utah come home, come home Taylor."
If you've seen 17-year-old Taylor Daniels or know where he might be you're asked to contact Ogden police at 801-737-7417.