Police put out a bulletin for 11-year-old Cameron Jeng after being told by his family that he had not been seen since Thursday afternoon. The search lasted close to 18 hours, and even involved a police helicopter taking to the air Friday morning.
A tearful reunion took place Friday morning after a sleepless night and hours of searching.
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Cameron's mother Natalie Locke. "Where have you been?!"
Cameron Jeng, 11, hadn't been seen since around 3:30pm Thursday, when someone in the neighborhood saw him on his bike. His mother reported him missing, and sheriff's deputies started looking everywhere they could think of.
Cameron's mom, trying to not to panic, made a frantic plea to her son early Friday morning.
"We want you to come back home, Cameron," Locke said. "Just call, because we don't know where he could be."
Around 9:30am, neighbor Theresa Ballesterso, who recognized Cameron's face, checked a neighbor's house where she thought one of his friends lived.
"He was asleep on the couch," she said. "I said, that's the same little boy that's missing."
She decided it was time Cameron went home.
"Thank you so much for bringing my baby home," Locke said.
Cameron told his mom he couldn't get into the house, and forgot her number. All's well that ends well, but Cameron might be in for a little talk.
Locke promised, "Oh trust me, we're going to have a lot of words to talk about right now."
Sheriff's deputies encourage all parents to plan ahead for situations like this, so they don't escalate quite this far. Make sure your child knows how to contact you if he gets lost, and establish some kind of game plan if he or she can't get into the home.