Missing Wisconsin Teen Turns Up at OWS Protest

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04:  A man associated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement relaxes in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District near Wall Street on November 4, 2011 in New York City. Despite a freak snowstorm last Saturday and the confiscation of their generators by the fire department, hundreds of young and old are staying put in the park. The activists have been gradually converging on the financial district over the past seven weeks to rally against the influence of corporate money in politics among a host of other issues. The protests have begun to attract the attention of major unions and religious groups as the movement continues to grow in influence around the world.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Occupy. Photo: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images

This wouldn't be a story if 18-year-old Aaron Schmidt had simply told a family member where he was going before catching a bus in Nebraska due east to New York to join the Occupy Wall Street protest. But he didn't, and after not hearing from him for two days, concerned family members reported Schmidt missing to campus police at the University of South Dakota, where he's a freshman.

"I wanted to learn more about it. It's hard to know exactly what's going on with something until you experience it yourself. It's hard to judge something from afar from reading things simply online," said Schmidt, who had never been to New York before the trip.

Schmidt slept on cardboard in Zuccotti Park for two nights because he didn't have a sleeping bag (before the eviction), and ate food distributed by other protesters. Eventually his father and uncle caught up to him after he responded to a relative's text message.