A Georgia teen who failed to return home from school nearly two years ago has resurfaced in the state with a new look. Aubrey Jayce Carroll, who turned 17 in January, appeared alongside Spalding Sheriff Darrell Dix in a video posted to Facebook Tuesday, sporting long hair and a beard, reports the Macon Telegraph. Though the formerly well-groomed teen didn't detail where he's been since leaving his Griffin home in May 2016, Dix says Aubrey "traveled extensively on the West Coast and Midwest" after joining a group of people who barter and use only cash. "They basically looked like a group of people from the Woodstock era in their clothing and lifestyle," Dix notes in a press release, per 11Alive, adding Aubrey encountered police, including in Alabama and Alaska, at least five times during his travels.
Just last year, Dix said Aubrey's family was "tortured by the lack of information" about the missing teen. That changed last Tuesday, when authorities met with his parents and showed them a Facebook page Aubrey was using under a different name, reports NBC News. The group decided not to contact the teen for fear he'd go dark again (due to his age, he couldn't be forced to return home), opting to wait until he had another encounter with police. But one relative "went out on a limb" and messaged him anyway and apparently convinced Aubrey to contact his mother. He told her he was ready to come home so long as certain conditions were met regarding who he saw and where he went. Though much of his time away remains a mystery, Dix says Aubrey's "tale was absolutely amazing. He has seen and done things that make your jaw drop." (Another missing Georgia teen was found using Snapchat.)