A missing 16-year-old autistic teen from Dearborn was last seen Tuesday morning near downtown Birmingham, and his mother hopes someone will help reunite him with his family in Dearborn.
Charles Foster went missing from his home in on Schlaff Road around 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 7, authorities said. A tipster told police that they spotted someone who looked like Charles near Jax Kar Wash at 34745 Woodward Ave. in Birmingham at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Charles is black with short hair and small-frame glasses. He is 5-feet-2 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds, and appears much younger than his age.
He was last seen wearing a beige, collared short sleeve shirt with horizontal stripes, dark shoes and glasses carrying a gray backpack.
Authorities said he does not like to be touched or approached by people he may not recognize.
"We just want him to come home"
Jennifer Foster said she and her husband Scott were awoken in the middle of the night by their daughter, who heard a noise inside their home and observed Charles exiting the front door of the home. The parents were unable to catch Charles as he ran northbound on Schlaff Road.
"It's unlike him to be gone for this long," Foster said. "Our fear is that he ran into some bad people. We just want him to come home."
Jennifer said Charles suffers from Autism, bi-polar disorder and mood swings, and ran away from home once before four years ago, but returned within 24 hours.
"We thought we had taken all precautions, but he jumped the gun on us this year," she said.
After the last time Charles ran away, the family put alarm sensors on doors and windows throughout the home to monitor his movement. In addition, Jennifer said she worked closely with nutritionists to develop a healthy diet to help control her son's mood swings.
"We're trying so hard, but everything we do doesn't seem to work," she said. "Sometimes your best isn't good enough with these kids."
Charles was recently complaining about wanting to go somewhere warm, and in the past the family has taken him to stay with his grandparents in California during the winter months.
"We just couldn't get him there fast enough this year," Foster said.
Foster said Charles loves adventures, and often remarked how he wanted to study archeology or travel the forests of the Congo as an adult. To that end, his mother believes Charles has crafted an adventure in his mind and may be lost somewhere in the Metro Detroit area.
"When he's in a blind panic, he picks a major road and just starts walking," she said.
Police said Charles likes to eat and may try to frequent restaurants or gas stations, or may beg for food.
The family does not believe Charles is a threat to himself or others. Anyone who may see Charles should call 911 for police assistance or call the Dearborn Police Department at 313-943-2241.