ANDOVER, Ohio (WKBN) – Authorities found 15-year-old Caleb Denlinger in good condition Monday after he went missing from Pymatuning State Park early Sunday, sixty miles away from the campground and riding his bike.
Officials said an employee at a video store in Millcreek Township, Pa. called police after Denlinger came into the store. The employee recognized Denlinger from a photo on Facebook.
Denlinger and his family are from Hartville, Oh. in Stark County. His parents, Richard and Tina Denlinger, expressed their thankfulness that their son was found safe and sound.
“Our deepest gratitude for all of your support, understanding and help during this trying time,” said Caleb’s father Richard Denlinger.
“I’m just so thankful to God for what he has done. For his faithfulness and to all the volunteers out here that have helped,” said Tina Denlinger.
Caleb’s sudden disappearance around 6 a.m. Sunday touched off a frantic search involving more than 50 people from several fire departments as well as park rangers and state troopers from both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Pymatuning Park, which encompasses about 3,000 acres, sits on the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Doug Lyons with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said the boy rode his bicycle to Millcreek Township where he spent the night at a bus station.
While the boy’s parents wouldn’t discuss why their son might have left the campground, Richard Denlinger said he doesn’t think that video store was Caleb’s intended destination.
“He has never done anything like this before, but he is a very capable person. He loves the outdoors, and he just love adventure,” Denlinger said.
The search at different times involved watercraft and a helicopter, several police departments, and volunteers all to reunite a young boy and his thankful parents.