BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) Teams canvassed the ground and scoured the air above Bedford County Monday, searching for Timothy Kilpatrick as his family watched with worry.
"It's terrifying," said Thomas Kilpatrick, Timothy's father. "I don't know if he's safe. I don't know if he is around things that will hurt him."
Kilpatrick told WDBJ7 his son is known to run off.
"It's been a while since he tried to pull that stunt," Kilpatrick said.
Timothy Kilpatrick, 18, was playing in his front yard along Jopling Road Sunday afternoon. A gate meant to protect him was left open.
"I went inside to get his watch," Thomas Kilpatrick said. "When I came back out, he was gone."
911 was called and deputies launched an immediate search. More than 24 hours later, there was still no sign of Kilpatrick.
"You can not get close to him, because he will run," Thomas Kilpatrick said. "If he's tried or worn down, you could probably get close to him then."
Kilpatrick's father said his son weighs more than 300 pounds and can't talk, a condition related to his autism diagnosis.
"He's not dangerous," Thomas Kilpatrick said of his son. "He will listen if you call his name and he will look back."
As hours passed Monday and searchers continued to come back empty handed, Thomas Kilpatrick's concern grew.
"I'm worried about him," Kilpatrick said. "If you have a kid, I don't care if they are autistic or not, they will worry about their child. And I am worried about my boy."
Kilpatrick said his son likes snacks and he may be looking for food. Although he is not known to hit or attack anyone, Kilpatrick said his son should not be restrained or held down if located.