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Jul-19-2010 17:06printcomments

Missing Autistic Man Located

No details are yet available, but the search for this man has concluded.

Erick Svoboda
Erick Svoboda

(SALEM, Ore.) - UPDATE: We know very little, but Salem Police have confirmed that the search for a missing 30-year old man named Erick Svoboda who is autistic, is over. We do not know anything about his status, but we have calls in to Salem Police to determine exactly what the update means. Again, we have only learned that Mr. Svoboda has been located, we will bring you more as soon as it is available.

=====Original article=====

The family of Erick Svoboda is reaching out to the Media and the public to assist them in finding their Missing 30 year old AUTISTIC son…as the Salem Police Department told the family they will not actively look for him, even with his autism because he is an adult.

Erick is classified as ENDANGERED because of his AUTISM. The Salem Police knocked on the door of Erick’s mother, Cathy Eldridge on Monday July 19th, at approximately 2:00 pm to tell them their son is missing.

Erick Svoboda is 5' 10'' tall and weighs 170 lbs. He was last seen at 7:30 PM Friday July 16th leaving his mother’s home on a turquoise women’s mountain bike which has "Fury" on the frame of the bike.

Erick was wearing blue jeans, a black "tapout" shirt, and sunglasses, red white & blue high top shoes (possibly Nikes). He wears his sunglasses and yellow ear plugs all of the time.

Erick is a high functioning autistic, non-confrontational, and will avoid people as much as possible. Svoboda has socialization difficulties and rarely talks to anyone. He will respond when spoken to, and will agree to almost anything he is asked to do.

Eric Svoboda was last seen at the home of his Mother, and Stepfather, Cathy & Daniel Eldridge, at: 1877 Winter St. N.E., Salem, OR 97301.

The mother, Cathy Eldridge, says the family is desperately searching for him and is concerned that the local police aren't willing to help search for Erick because he is an adult.

He has a regular part-time job 2 days a week at the Garten Foundation, a local recycling company that employs disable workers in Salem. He worked his regular shifts last week on July 13th and 14th.

Below is a link: to a map of the area he was last seen:

If you have seen Erick Svoboda Immediately call Cathy Eldridge at: 503-588-5429, and the Salem Police at 503-588-6144 Regarding: Case # 10-28220




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Victoria July 21, 2010 5:45 pm (Pacific time)

I spoke with his mother the other day and she said he is on lock-down in a mental hospital and she cannot get him out. If this had happened to a 5-year-old this would not have happened to him. She has no idea what to do and says she feels helpless and lost: unable to protect her son from the world.


Julie July 20, 2010 3:29 pm (Pacific time)

It looks like this was posted yesterday...Is there an update? Our prayers are with the family!


Mike July 20, 2010 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

Living in the Salem area, I think I will post too.


Lois Smith July 20, 2010 1:21 pm (Pacific time)

This absolutely sent chills down my spine, as the mother of a child that has autism, I can not imagine having to endure the apathy that this police department exhibited. My prayers are with you.


Annette July 20, 2010 10:38 am (Pacific time)

I pray that your son is found. Police have to redefine their criteria for Searches - in cases of Autism. Time to address our changing world. Please keep us informed - I pray he is well!


Victoria July 20, 2010 9:08 am (Pacific time)

I got the post on Facebook, and I'll be re-posting! Let's find this man soon!!!


Rochelle Dolim July 20, 2010 6:50 am (Pacific time)

How are the police able to justify not looking for an endangered adult? Do they make the same decision with other health issues where the person needs medication or daily care? It would seem the Salem Police Department is in desperate need of first responder training regarding autism. They don't get to pick and choose which citizens are deserving of being protected.


Emily Malabey July 19, 2010 9:21 pm (Pacific time)

Ms. Eldridge has kindly agreed to be interviewed on the ICAA Radio on BTR. We are getting everything arranged and hope this will reach many as well. Please spread the picture far and wide-regardless of where you are! Thanks for getting the word out and helping people, Editors.


Nhicks July 19, 2010 8:37 pm (Pacific time)

As a mother a am autistic teen I can only imagine this family's nightmare. I sent this story to 270 Facebook friends a few of which are in Oregon. The Erik and his family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope he is found soon.

Editor: Indeed, it can only be imagined, I can tell you that they are extremely kind people and deserve all the help they can get, thanks so much for sending this information out, we will keep you updated on progress. 

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