Reported by Kacie Whaley
A news reporter covering the story of a missing 10-year-old boy never thought that he would be the means to the story’s end, but he became just that when he found the boy in his family’s front yard.
ABC Action News reporter Cameron Polom arrived at the Tampa, Florida home of a family who had reported 10-year-old Paul Ezekiel Fagan as missing 14 hours earlier. Polom expected to speak with the boy’s family about his disappearance and hoped to get some helpful answers from them. The reporter then spotted a boy standing in the front yard and he realized the search for Paul was over.
“I said, ‘Have you been missing?'” Polom told his news crew. “I said, ‘Come here, buddy,’ and I just picked him up and I said ‘Would you mind if I lift you up?’ And I just said ‘Come with me.’ I just held his hand and walked him over to you guys. It’s crazy.”
Paul was first reunited with his grandmother, who has legal custody of him and was inside the home. As she came out to greet Paul, the young boy ran into his grandmother’s arms. “Oh, thank you, Jesus!” she said as she cried over Paul.
The boy then saw his father for the first time since being found. “It’s like a wonderful joy,” Paul’s father told WFTS News reporters, embracing his son. “It’s like your son first being born.”
Paul told reporters that he “needed space” from his younger brother, so he spent the night in the neighbor’s yard.
Polom said that a search party had previously looked in the spot where Paul said he had slept, but that he must have moved to another location at the time they were searching.
Paul has a mild learning disability, but his family said that he had never run away before, according to WFTS News.