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How a heroic bushman found the missing Victorian teen

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A Victorian bushwalker is today a hero after finding missing autistic teenager William Callaghan in a ‘mountain miracle’ at Mount Disappointment.

A Victorian bushwalker is today a hero after finding missing autistic teenager William Callaghan in a 'mountain miracle' at Mount Disappointment.

Volunteer Ben Gibbs, from Research in Melbourne's north-east, is an avid bush-walker who has ventured the mountainous terrain in regional Victoria since he was a boy.

But today he transformed from a bush-walker to a local hero, after spotting the 14-year-old some 100 metres from the road, or about 10 minutes from the main bush track, at 11.55am.

Mr Gibbs told reporters he knew the area "really well" and rummaged through thick bushland to find the teen, who had been missing amid freezing conditions since Monday.

"This is kind of our family mountain," he said.

"I have been coming up here since I was a boy. I saw where the guys tagged where they did some searching previously, so I dropped in a bit deeper than that."

READ MORE: Missing Victorian teen found alive after mammoth search

The bushwalker said when he saw William, he tried to make him "relax" by speaking to him about his favourite TV Show Thomas the Tank Engine.

Despite wearing no shoes or socks, Mr Gibbs said the teen looked in "reasonable health".

"He wasn't shivering too bad," he said.

"He didn't have socks on, so put some socks on him and a jacket and gave him some chocolate."

Mr Gibbs found the boy "just standing and looking", describing his appearance as "angelic".

Missing autistic boy

The hero then called authorities once he received a signal and asked for the helicopter to stand down, after the teen started to cover his ears from the loud noise.

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"He didn't seem bothered by me," he said.

"I heard that he liked Thomas the Tank and so I talked to him about Diesel and stuff like that."

William has been taken to the Royal Children's Hospital for observation.

Mother Penny Callaghan said she wanted to thank Mr Gibbs personally for finding her son.

"I'm just so grateful and so relieved," she said.

Read the full story here.

Source: 9News

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