A 28-year-old with autism was found alive after three weeks in the Utah desert where he sustained by eating roots and frogs.

Rescuers said Thursday that William LeFever was emaciated when they discovered him by the Escalante River, but alive.

The Colorado man was apparently hiking near Boulder, Utah in June when his equipment was stolen. LeFever called his father who said he would wire money to the young man in Page, Ariz. Rather than find a ride, officials said LeFever began walking and trekked some 70 miles.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

LeFever’s sister alerted authorities Monday after the family hadn’t heard from him in weeks.

Once discovered, rescuers said that LeFever was so eager for human contact that it was difficult to get him to stop talking long enough to eat something.

Authorities credited autism training at least in part for helping them locate LeFever. One of the rescuers suggested searching near the river because he learned that those with autism are often drawn to water, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. To read more click here.

Read more stories like this one. Sign up for Disability Scoop's free email newsletter to get the latest developmental disability news sent straight to your inbox.