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Missing 9-Year-Old Delaware County Boy Found Safe

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Sammy is reunited with his mother. Sammy is reunited with his mother.
Delaware County Sheriff's Office photo of Samuel (Sammy) Mitchell Delaware County Sheriff's Office photo of Samuel (Sammy) Mitchell
DELAWARE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

A 9-year-old boy with special needs is home safe after he disappeared for hours at Grand Lake.

Deputies searched for nearly 16 hours before they finally found Samuel Mitchell and reunited him with his mother.

Delaware County Sheriff Harlan Moore said, "He's cold, he's wet and I think he'll be fine."

Deputies said Mitchell – who suffers from disinhibited social engagement disorder and is bi-polar - ran off from his mother's car after they got into an argument.

“We got a call from her that she was unable to locate him, so we commenced a search and we searched all through the night,” Moore said.

Deputies combed through wooded areas hoping to bring the 9-year-old home safely.

"We did a reverse 911 to this area to notify all the residents in the area," the sheriff said.

That's when deputies got a call from a resident who thought she saw Mitchell in the lake near her home.

They found the boy alive, shivering, on a swim dock.

Moore said, "The deputy responded there. He sees him on the dock. He commandeered a paddle boat that was there and paddled over to him and got him on the paddle boat and brought him back."

The sheriff said it could have ended differently, and the fact that Mitchell is safe is nothing short of a miracle.

"He was on a swim dock in a small cove on Monkey Island, and I don't know how he got to it. I know that he is wet and he's cold. I don't know how long he was in the water. We're very thankful that we're not working a drowning or fatal," Moore said.

Deputies said they’re questioning Mitchell and his mother about how he got out of the car and was able to run away.

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