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Missing autistic man found alive

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An autistic man missing from a camp in northwest Wisconsin was found alive Sunday night.

Keith Kennedy, 25, was dehydrated and he had a low body temperature and lots of bug bites.

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However, rescuers stabilized Kennedy before flying him to the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.

Hundreds of volunteers looked for the Shoreview, Minn., man who needed anti-rejection drugs after a kidney transplant 13 years ago.

A St. Paul firefighter found Kennedy conscious and alert about 7 p.m. in a remote wooded area about a mile from the Trade Lake Camp near Grantsburg.

He walked away on the night of June 15.

Staff members thought Kennedy sneaked back for a second helping of popcorn and did not return to his cabin because he didn't want to get in trouble.

What actually happened my never be known since Kennedy's autism only lets him speak four words.

Burnett County Sheriff Dean Roland said Kennedy apparently bedded down for about 2 to 3 days, based on the matted grass in the woods.

Searchers went through the area twice, but Roland said the visibility was hampered by dense levels of grass and thistles.

The sheriff said it was tough terrain and Kennedy was tough to survive in it.

He guessed that the man ate vegetation and drank from a nearby creek.

Fourteen developmentally-disabled adults stay at the camp for a week at a time. Kennedy was there two other times and officials said he never did anything to assume he might run away.

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