Sydney teenager Matthew Allen survives two months in bush

  • 28 January 2013
  • From the section Asia

An Australian teenager missing for two months has been found emaciated but alive in bush land near Sydney.

Matthew Allen, 18, disappeared from his home in the city's northern outskirts on 27 November.

Police searched for him but it was not until Saturday that two hikers spotted him less than 2km (1.25 miles) from his home.

Police said he was covered in leeches and insect bites, and had lost about half of his body weight.

"He was completely exhausted, completely dehydrated, suffered significant weight loss, somewhere up to 50%. He was suffering from partial blindness and he had leeches all over him," said acting Police Inspector Glyn Baker.

Police said in a statement that the teenager was believed to have been living in the bush land area for the whole nine weeks.

"He was not living under any shelter and was exposed to the full conditions since reported being missing," Insp Baker said.

The teenager, who according to local reports has a medical condition, was winched up by helicopter and flown to hospital for treatment.

He reportedly told rescuers he drank water from creeks to survive.

His mother, Deborah, told Australia's Daily Telegraph that the priority was "getting Matthew well".

"His family are ecstatic that he's alive and that he's well," Insp Baker said.