A missing Florida teen with autism made it through a TSA checkpoint at the Orlando International Airport with a stranger’s boarding pass — and told authorities that “she just wanted to fly in an airplane,” according to new reports.
Sade Subbs, 15, who the Apopka Police Department says “suffers from high-functioning autism,” was last seen around 10 p.m. Thursday near Lake Jackson Circle in the Orange County city before she vanished, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The next day, a Southwest Airlines employee at the airport spotted the teen wandering around a gate and asked her if she needed help, according to the report.
Subbs handed her a drink coupon — and the employee searched the name on the slip, determining that the person had already boarded an earlier flight, the paper reported.
Authorities were called in to assist, and an officer “immediately” recognized Subbs as the missing teen, according to a police report obtained by the outlet.
The teen told the officer she simply wanted to fly on a plane and “took several buses” from Apopka to get to the airport.
She told him that she found the drink coupon on the floor and used it to pass through TSA PreCheck — though TSA said she used a valid and current boarding pass to sneak past, according to the report. She’s shown on airport surveillance video going through the PreCheck lane around 1:30 p.m.
“Although she presented someone else’s boarding pass, she was screened and the TSA screening procedures did assure she posed no threat to aviation,” the agency said in a statement to ABC News. “This is an example where the many layers of security worked.”
She was returned to her family Friday in “good health and spirits,” and no foul play was suspected, police said.
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