PHELAN ( — A 12-year-old boy was home Thursday night after concerned neighbors spent hours searching the Wrightwood area for him.

Leroy Papke, the father of the boy, said Steven missed the school bus to Phelan a few miles away in the morning and hadn’t been seen since.

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“It’s upsetting. I don’t know where he is. I haven’t seen him all day,” Papke said earlier in the day.

Then, in the middle of a prayer vigil, neighbors learned Steven had been found and was heading home.

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As KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz reports, a young woman driving down the main road saw Steven and picked him up.

“And I told him everyone was kind of looking for him and I asked him how his day was. He said he was walking all day,” Sarah Demke, who found Steven, said.

Steven said he was in a nearby wash afraid to come home even though he heard search-and-rescue teams calling for him.

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Papke said Steven isn’t in trouble and is just happy his son is home and out of the cold.