Police said 10-year-old Khristian Joseph was found safe early Tuesday at a Durham hotel more than 12 hours after he had left Pleasant Grove Elementary School on foot at the end of the school day.
He was returned to his mother shortly after 5 a.m., Cary authorities said. Durham police had found Khristian at a Sleep Inn on Page Road near Interstate 40 about a half-hour earlier after getting a call that he was there, Cary Capt. Kevin Tingen told ABC11 in an interview broadcast live.
Where the boy was overnight was not clear, Tingen said shortly after Khristian was brought home.
The hotel is about 1.5 miles from the school on foot, police said. It is about a 2-mile drive on streets.
“It was quite a trek” for a 10-year-old Tingen said.
Khristian had not been seen since he left Pleasant Grove Elementary School on Monday afternoon. Police told ABC11 that he apparently went out a back door of the school and into woods that adjoin it.
Khristian left as school was dismissing for the day at 3:45 p.m., officials said.
Lisa Luten, Wake County Public School System communications director, said, “We will wait for the [Cary police] investigation to be completed before we draw conclusions” about whether the schools should change anything.
Tingen said police did not yet know why Khristian left school.