Two Missing Colorado Boys Found in Phoenix

PHOTO: Christopher Ihinger and Danny Eberly
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Two boys missing in western Colorado since Sunday have been found safe in Phoenix, according to authorities there.

The boys, 12-year-old Christopher Ihinger and 14-year-old Danny Eberly, both of Telluride, disappeared while on an outing with Christopher's dad, Aaron, and his hiking partner, according to the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office.

The boys are now in custody, unharmed, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

"The boys admitted to running away, to taking the truck and driving it to Phoenix," read a statement issued by the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office. "They were apprehended by the Phoenix Police Department after being suspected of committing some crimes."

Authorities in western Colorado spent the past three days combing broad swaths of wilderness near Telluride in search of the two boys.

Aaron Ihinger told police he last saw them Sunday morning, when he left the boys near a boat ramp in the Big Gypsum Valley of San Miguel County to go rock climbing. When he returned a few hours later, both of the boys were gone.

Lori Eberly said her son, Danny, had recently gotten in trouble for stealing a car over the summer, but she insisted he had not run away. "He and his friend had taken a car joyriding and he crashed it," she said.

Eberly said there had been talk among students at Danny's Telluride middle school that he'd told friends he was afraid that he might have to serve jail time, and had a plan to leave town.

"He had no reason to be scared," Eberly told ABC News. "He wasn't going to jail. There was no possibility of jail. There was was probation, but he was doing really good. He was doing really good in school, he was getting into activities. He was trying really hard to change everything," she said.

Eberly said Danny had been living with his father in Flagstaff, Ariz., before coming to Telluride to live with her last January. She was upset that the apparent focus of the investigation had shifted to Danny's past .

"What's happening right now has nothing to do with what happened over the summer, and I know that," she said. "He's a loving kid, a good kid. He wants to fix what he's done in the past, so I just don't see him doing this."

Aaron Ihinger said his son, Christopher, became friends with Danny at school. Knowing of Danny's recent run-ins with the police, Ihinger said he invited Danny to join him and Christopher on Sunday.

"I wanted to welcome him into our life, and show him the better side of life," he told ABC News.

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