JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – After a widespread search that included volunteers and authorities, the lifeless body of Connor Mathis was found in the surf on Jekyll Island on Tuesday afternoon.
The groups had been searching since Monday evening for the 16-year-old with autism after he disappeared from a church camp on Jekyll Island. Authorities said he has Autism Spectrum Disorder and was considered “high-functioning.”
“It is with regret that the 16 year old missing juvenile, Connor Mathis from Brunswick, Georgia, has been located deceased in the surf on Jekyll Island this morning,” the Camden County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “The Camden County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, along with The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, numerous law enforcement and Fire/Rescue Agencies, along with hundreds of volunteers conducted the search for the missing teenager. The Deputies on Camden County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol boat, which was equipped with sonar, discovered the body of the missing youth in the surf off the Jekyll Island Beach. Our condolences to the Connor Mathis family.”
Authorities said Mathis was found just before 2 p.m. off the southeastern corner of the island.
Mathis was attending a church camp at the 4-H facility on the island and was last seen at Camp Jekyll between 3:30 and 4 p.m. on Monday. It was noticed that he was missing around 5 p.m. when he did not show up for dinner, and the Georgia State Patrol was called around 6 p.m.
His peers said he told them he wanted to go to the beach, so the search was heavily focused on the beach area and the dunes.
According to a report from The Brunswick News, Connor is from Brunswick and attended Glynn Academy.