Missing 12-year-old boy from Centerville found safe in Taylorsville

Posted at 11:55 AM, May 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-23 23:12:42-04

CENTERVILLE, Utah -- A missing 12-year-old boy from Centerville has been found in Taylorsville.

Centerville Police said Deacon Phillips was not harmed and appeared to be in good health. He was returned to his family in Centerville.

Phillips was reported missing Friday afternoon. According to police, he got into an argument with his family and he ran out of the house without any socks or shoes. He also didn't have any money or a cell phone.

Police said in a press release at 3:56 p.m. that the child had been found safe in Taylorsville. Police say a man found the child alone in the rain, cold and without shoes or socks in the Centerville area Friday.

The man bought the child some shoes and dropped him off at a location in Taylorsville. The child told the man where he wanted to be dropped off but it is not clear where that location is or whether it was a residence, business or public place. After seeing news reports, the man realized the child he had helped was the missing juvenile, and he called police to tell them where he had encountered the child and later dropped him off.

"At this point there doesn't appear to be a criminal element involved," said Sgt. Allen Ackerson.

Police said they are grateful for the man’s actions but also said in the future, if you stumble upon a child in a suspicious and possibly dangerous situation, it's best to call police first before taking matters into your own hands.

"I think its very fortunate with Deacon, the way he left, he was determined to strike out on his own at his young age, it's very alarming and we would just like to thank everyone involved who watched," Ackerson said. "We received many tips, and many of them were corroborated and turned out to be truthful in the end and helped guide us toward him."

Police said they were worried the boy was in danger due to his young age, lack of resources and the weather conditions.