GRAFTON, Mass. - A Grafton man missing since Aug. 30 was found safe Sunday in Upton after he had apparently spent time camping out in the state forest, police said.
Timothy R. Rick, 25, of 286 Upton St. was recognized in an Upton store by a person who tipped off police, Grafton Police Chief Normand Crepeau Jr. said.
"He was brought back to his father," Crepeau said. "Apparently, he wanted to be alone more than anything."
Rick's disappearance led to an extensive search of the area by Grafton Police, Environmental Police and the State Police Air Wing, who combed the Upton State Forest, which Rick was known to frequent, as well as areas near his home. Rick had last been seen at 11 p.m. on Aug. 30 by a friend who dropped him off at his home; his father said he never entered the house.
The vanishing act was marked by an odd twist: Rick had said he was moving into a dorm apartment to attend UMass Boston but police discovered the university had no record of his enrollment as a student.
Despite an apparent lack of camping gear, Rick spent eight days in the forest, Crepeau said.
"We did a pretty extensive search on the forest, from the air and on the ground," Crepeau said. "When you're searching for somebody, you assume they want to be found. I don't know if that was the case here, but he's safe and with his father, so it's a happy ending all around."