A Georgia teen who vanished from his high school two years ago has been found safe and he wants his loved ones to know he was just out having a good time.
Aubrey Carroll was last seen leaving Spalding High School in May 2016 and his subsequent absence had reportedly caused his family a great deal of anguish.
But this week, Aubrey reappeared with a message for those who worried about him all this time.
"Hey, my name is Aubrey Carroll. It’s nice to see y’all," Aubrey says in a video that was posted on the Spalding County Sheriff’s Facebook page Tuesday.
As part of their long-running investigation into his disappearance, investigators say they learned Aubrey, now 17, traveled extensively with a group of people who live solely on cash made through bartering.
“They basically looked like a group of people from the Woodstock era in their clothing and life style,” Sheriff Darrell Dix said.
They also learned that Aubrey was using an assumed name and that he had a Facebook page under that name.
"We also found out that over the time since Aubrey left he had no less than five personal contacts with law enforcement agencies ranging from Alabama to Arizona under his assumed identity," the Spalding County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Once they knew Aubrey was alive and well, investigators reached out to his family. To prevent him from going back into hiding, authorities and Aubrey's family decided to wait until he had another interaction with police before trying to arrange a reunion.
However, someone in Aubrey's family tipped him off to the plan and managed to convince Aubrey to call his mother.
"Aubrey called his mother and told her that he was ready to come home; however there were certain conditions that he wanted in place such as who he would talk to and where he would go when he got home," police said in a statement.
After being feared dead, hurt or in danger and appearing on national news and even the FBI's missing person's site, Aubrey recently reunited with his mom.
After his mother let authorities know he was with her, the Spalding County Sheriff's Office met up with Aubrey and shot a video with him for Facebook.
Now older and with much longer hair, Aubrey wants everyone to know he's thankful for all the support people have shown over the years.
"Thank y’all so much for all your prayers and looking out for my mama. I appreciate y’all so much," he says in the video. "I’m all right. I’m OK. I’ve been smiling, and y’all should do the same."