Missing boy is found uninjured

An 11-year-old Appling boy missing since Tuesday morning was found uninjured Wednesday.

Kyle Morris, a North Columbia Elementary School fifth-grader, walked into the Columbia County Probate Court office in Appling at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

The boy was reported missing Tuesday when he did not arrive at school. Police say he was last seen about 8 a.m. Tuesday walking down his driveway to meet his school bus, which he never boarded.

"We believe he spent the night in his grandmother's basement," Capt. Morris said.

The fire department responded to the boy's grandmother's house near his Shucraft Road home at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, where they found Kyle's backpack and other evidence suggesting he had spent the night there, Capt. Morris said. His grandmother called the fire department after smelling smoke.

Police believe Kyle had plugged in a lamp that caught fire and he attempted to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, Capt. Morris said.

An employee of Probate Court said a therapist who has been working with Kyle saw him walking along an Appling road, picked him up and came to the office, where police were called.

Kyle has a history of behavioral problems and of running away, Capt. Morris said.

On June 29, Kyle was found within hours of being reported as a runaway, said Capt. Morris, who is related distantly to the boy and his family.

Kyle had also run away on a previous occasion that was not reported, Capt. Morris said.

Reach Valerie Rowell or J. Scott Trubey at 868-1222 or ccchron@augustachronicle.com.