STACYVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Rowen Ross, 9, was found safe by Maine Game Wardens a little before 10 p.m. Friday night.
The Penobscot County Sheriff's Office says Rowen left the Katahdin Elementary School in Stacyville on foot around noon. Hours later, he was found in the woods about a mile from the school-- although police say he may have walked much farther than that.
"He's healthy, he's cold; but he's safe and sound now and that's what matters," said Lt. Dan Scott of the Maine Warden Service.
Officials say Rowen had been out in the cold for nine hours. With wind chill, the temperatures were in the single digits.
Lt. Scott said Rowen was found by a Maine State Police K9 and a group of Game Wardens.
Volunteers from the community joined Game Wardens and police in the search for Rowen Friday night. Friends and neighbors used their snowmobiles to comb through the woods around the school. Officials say the community effort made a huge difference.
"One of the things that was really amazing tonight was the community outreach," said Lt. Scott. "We probably had more than 150 volunteers."
"We've been blessed by a tremendous outpouring from the community," said Sheriff Troy Martin. He said there were units from local fire departments, Maine Game Wardens, Maine State Police, and even the Army National Guard.
Police were not able to say why Rowen walked into the woods Friday afternoon.
"Tonight it's just really important to make sure we found this young man," said Sherrif Martin. "We can worry about the other parts later."
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