Missing autistic man may have joined refugees

Missing autistic man may have joined refugees
Arian with his mother. Photo: private
The mother of an autistic man who went missing in Vienna last month fears that he may have joined a group of asylum seekers in a quest “to explore the world”.

Arian Saraie is 22 years old and requires medication. He went missing on November 9th and was last seen at a care centre in the Währing district. His mother, Regina Schramm-Saraie, told the Kurier newspaper that her son is at an age where he “wants to be more independent and has an urge to explore the world”.

She described Arian as sociable and said that he often approaches people. She thinks that it’s possible that he might have joined a group of asylum seekers. “He may have tagged along with them. If he has food and feels good, he will be quiet and not make himself noticed. We hope that’s the case. But after such a long time we have to be prepared for the worst,” she said.

In September an 18-year-old youth with a mental disability disappeared from a Caritas children’s centre in Salzburg. The head of the centre, Eleonore Zach, said he had also wanted to travel and had joined a group of refugees who were taking a train to Munich in Germany. “No one noticed him on the train because he kept quiet,” she said. After he had spent three days at Munich’s main train station police questioned him and arranged for him to be safely returned to Salzburg.

Vienna police have now widened their search for Arian. “At the request of his family we are extending our investigation to the border crossings,” police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer said.

Anyone who has seen Arian or may know where he is should contact the police in Vienna on 01/31310-27361 or call the family’s hotline on 0650/9442147.