A young boy reported missing in Shirley was found safe by police Wednesday afternoon.

Colleen Tocci said she was strapping her youngest child in a carseat when 3 1/2-year-old Rocco ran off. Local police and State Police were called to search for the boy and a State Police chopper even joined in on the search. At one point, Rocco’s father went looking in the woods for his son and panicked when he found the boy’s shoes near a pond.

More than an hour after he took off, a neighbor told Trooper Scott Schubert she thought she saw Rocco in the woods. Schubert then located the boy standing in a creek.

Police located the child just before 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday after police searched the area from the ground and from the air. 

"I am extremely grateful for the tremendous response of police and fire officials today," said Shirley Police Chief Thomas Goulden. "What matters most of all is that this young child was successfully and rapidly found and that he was not harmed."

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