FAIRHAVEN — Kenneth Parks, the 72-year-old autistic man who disappeared Wednesday afternoon from a Fairhaven park, has been found safe.

Parks was discovered shortly before noon on Thursday in a parked car near the playground of the Rogers School. Police say he was located by a woman seated in a vehicle in the area of Chestnut Street. She then flagged down two officers who were passing by on bicycles.

Parks was evaluated by EMS on scene and later taken to an area hospital for evaluation.

Parks, a New Bedford resident who is non-verbal, had been with a group of people walking in Cushman Park on Wednesday afternoon. He was last seen at about 1:25 p.m. before he somehow became separated from the group.

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Authorities and citizens alike teamed to search for Parks Wednesday afternoon and evening, with neighboring police departments and the Massachusetts Air Wing unit offering overnight support. The ground search resumed Thursday morning with assistance from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit.

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