TV Reporter Reunites Missing Tampa Boy With Family

A boy who vanished from his home Thursday has been reunited with him family

ByABC News
September 26, 2014, 4:20 PM

-- A 10-year-old Florida boy missing since Thursday was reunited with his family Friday morning thanks to reporter Cameron Polom of ABC affiliate WFTS.

Paul Ezekiel Fagan, who has a mild learning disability, was last seen around 4 p.m. Thursday playing in the front yard of his house.

Polom says Paul lives with his grandmother, Hazel Epps, who has custody from his biological mother.

Polom was walking through the family’s neighborhood at dawn in the minutes following a media press conference on the boy's disappearance when he saw a child fitting Paul’s description behind a neighbor’s fence.

"I thought to myself oh this couldn’t be the boy, no way, and I walked over and said, 'Hey bud what’s your name?' He mumbled Paul and then I asked if I could pick him up over the fence and he gave me a huge hug before we walked over to the officers parked in front of his house," Polom said.

Polom says Paul told him he had spent the rainy night in his neighbor’s backyard that's riddled with overgrown vegetation, which made him hard to spot by previous search efforts. Paul told Polom he spent part of the night taking a cat nap in the shrubbery.

The emotionally-charged reunion was all caught on camera.

Video captured by the station shows Epps running out of the house, tears streaming down her face as she wraps her arms around her grandson.

Then, just a few hours later another homecoming played out with his father. "It's like a wonderful joy, like your son first being born," Paul’s father told WFTS.

“When his dad came later on he literally leapt into his arms,” Polom said.

When asked by Polom why he left home, he had a prompt response.

“He told me he simply needed space from his little brother,” Polom chuckled.

It's was a day that started off full of fear, and ended with smiles across the board.