“No Better Ending Than This”: Finding A Missing Teenager


A tense few hours in Garretson looking for a missing teenager have ended with success.

A.J. Carver was last seen at about midnight Tuesday night at his Garretson home. At around 6:15 Wednesday night we learned that he was found alive. Carver was found north of Devil’s Gulch along train tracks.

“This particular type of incident we have a couple times a year, particularly around waterways, and unfortunately it doesn’t often end well. And in this particular case it ended very well,” Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Captain Mike Walsh said.

Walsh has praise for Garretson firefighters.

“A large number of their crew went out and started systematic searches in areas where we felt might be good hiding places or good places where someone might go if they didn’t want to be found, and it was through that systematic searching that we found him,” Walsh said.

“We have so many of these calls where it’s exactly the opposite way,” said Mark Rozeboom of the Garretson Volunteer Fire Department. “And we go home heartbroken and saddened and for us to actually have one end this way feels really good, it actually makes us feel good about what we do, and reminds us of why we do what we do.”

Jared Hill, a conservation officer with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, was one of three people to find the teenager.

“It felt really good to go from a, what we figured was probably a recovery, which is typically what we end up doing, to actually finding him alive and well was a great feeling,” Hill said.

For Walsh, this story is also personal.

“I happen to be acquainted with this young man’s family, and I’m very excited for them. I’m very excited that they didn’t have to hear the news that so many other families have to hear every once in a while. This is, this ending is as good as it gets,” Walsh said. “There’s no better ending than this.”

Carver had non-life threatening injuries. According to Walsh, this was “[b]asically a runaway” situation.

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