MARLBORO - The search for an autistic teen from Marlboro missing for almost a week has intensified in Freehold as volunteers assist authorities.

About a dozen volunteers divvied up the ground they hoped to cover Monday night in the search for Michael Karwan. They are looking in and around shopping malls, bus stations, fast food restaurants or any place the 19-year-old might go to find food or stay warm.

Family and friends are keeping their hopes up and say they are encouraged by the outpouring of support and several sightings, including some in upstate New York and New York City.

Karwan's twin sister, Michelle, says there is no way her brother is willingly apart from his family. "He's my other half, she says. "And he would never want to leave me and he would never want to leave his mom."

"I just feel terrible for the family," says neighbor Julie Zagari. "They're lovely people and we just want to help any way we can."

Michael was last seen Nov. 19 when a surveillance camera captured an image of him outside the ShopRite on Route 9 in Marlboro.

Relatives say he is shy, but friendly.