Tracking device a silver lining
A silver lining to Ryan Peel's ordeal is that he is now the first Wellingtonian to own a special tracker designed for people with autism.
The Wandatrack is a small device that emits a personalised signal.
It has been designed to give peace of mind to families of people with dementia, autism or other conditions that cause them to regularly wander off.
Ryan's device resembles a pendant but they can also be made to look like a watch or key chain.
Police search and rescue co-ordinator Anthony Harmer said the technology had been available in Wellington for only a few months but he hoped the devices would become commonplace.
"It reduces our search time massively. [On average it takes] 20 searchers up to eight hours but this would see one to two people searching for maybe an hour."
The devices cost $280 and replacing the battery every six months costs $30.
The recently established Wellington Wander Search Charitable Trust administers the devices and raises funds to cover their cost.
They also ask for a small monthly donation from the user.
Ryan's father, Edward Peel, said he had looked for something similar in China and other parts of the world without realising he could source one at home.
"One of the good things about this bizarre situation, that I'd never want to find myself in, is Ryan now has a Wandatrack."
For more information contact Wellington police search and rescue.
Related story: Community rallies to save Ryan
The Dominion Post