Shimon Zorger, a 10-year-old autistic boy from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wandered away from his relatives home in Kiryas Joel about 5 o'clock Sunday night.
That resulted in a frantic, widespread search involving state troopers, firefighters, sheriff's deputies and a host of volunteers. Finally, at 9:15 on Monday morning, after more than 14 hours of searching, authorities spotted the scared little boy.
"One of the troopers pulled into a girls' school out on Mountain Road and saw the child in a grassy area," New York State Police Capt. Brendan Casey said.
But little Shimon was reluctant to get into the trooper's vehicle. That's when some volunteers provided some much-needed help by calming him down.
His family issued a statement saying, "We are grateful for the overwhelming outpouring of concern and support from our loved ones and all of our friends and neighbors as well as the rescue personnel involved in the search."
Shimon was shaken up, but not hurt. He was treated and released at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.
Kiryas Joel is about 50 miles north of New York City. Incorporated in 1977 by members of the Satmar Hasidic sect from Brooklyn, it has about 23,000 residents.