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Police find missing Watauga boy hiding in bushes

WATAUGA -- A 9-year-old boy reported missing was found early Thursday hiding under some bushes by police after officers spent more than five hours looking for the child who had avoided going home because he knew he was in trouble for being out late.

The boy, who was in good condition, had avoided officers from six law enforcement agencies throughout the night as they looked for him.

“He would move from bush to bush when he saw officers near him,” Watauga police Detective Jason Babcock said Thursday.

The incident began about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 6700 block of Park Vista Boulevard.

The 9-year-old was at a friend’s home playing video games when the friend’s mother told him that he was time for him to go home, police said.

Realizing that he would get into trouble, the boy went to visit another friend, police said. He also abandoned his bicycle, police said.

At about this time, the boy’s family began to search for him and found the bike, police said. The family then reported him missing. The boy began hiding after leaving his friend’s home and saw the police officers.

Police found the boy shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday near his home.