By Michelle Witte
The community of Springville gave a collective sigh of relief when six-year-old Colton Richmond returned home Monday morning after searchers spent Sunday night looking for him.
Richmond surprised his family and searchers when he returned home at 8 a.m. Monday as rescuers prepared to resume the search.
?He showed up ready for breakfast and to go to school,? said Lt. Dave Caron of the Springville Police Department. ?Obviously the family was really, really happy to find that he was safe and so were we.?
The boy?s mother called police around 10 p.m. Sunday when he failed to return home from playing with friends.
Richmond?s mother last saw him around 8 p.m. Sunday. He had been trying to scoop fish out of a neighbor?s backyard pond with a fishing net and ran away when scolded by his mother.
The Springville police and fire departments searched for the boy most of the night and planned to resume the search Monday morning. The family had also asked for local volunteers to help with the search.
Searchers canvassed the area and handed out fliers with a description of the boy to neighbors around one a.m. in the morning, said Scott Madson, neighbor to the Richmond?s.
Madson, a senior from Springville majoring in communications, said he and his family were concerned for Richmond?s safety after hearing of the disappearance.
?At first I thought he was abducted because the flier said he was [wearing] his dad?s cowboy boots and they were too big for him,? Madson said. ?He couldn?t have walked too far in cowboy [boots], so I thought someone had snagged him.?
Fortunately Richmond returned home safe and investigators do not suspect foul play in the matter.
The police were eager to talk to Richmond about his night on the town, Caron said, but Richmond hasn?t said much about his activities that night.
Richmond told authorities that he had stayed the night in the family boat, but searchers had looked in boat Sunday night and hadn?t seen the boy.
Caron believed Richmond may have spent the night with a friend, because Richmond was seen playing with an unidentified friend about the time he disappeared Sunday night.
?We believe he probably ran around with a little buddy of his for a while and may have, unbeknownst to anybody except he and his little friend, spent the night there,? said Caron. ?We don?t know. He has his story and he?s sticking with it.?
Family and friends were relieved by Richmond?s appearance, said Caron. Richmond was a little surprised, but not overly concerned, by all of the attention he received.
The searchers weren?t upset, however, and were happy that the situation ended with such a happy resolution.
?It turned out okay and he?s safe and so now we can look back at it and shake our heads and kind of grin a little bit at what a little six-year-old boy can do to a community,? said Caron. ?We?re just glad that he?s safe.?