A six-year-old boy who was feared to have floated away in a homemade helium balloon has been found alive, US police say.
Falcon Heene was discovered hiding in a box in the attic above the garage at the family's home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The silver, flying saucer shaped balloon, which is about 20ft
across, had drifted off after coming loose from its moorings - thought
to be with Falcon inside.
The boy's brother said he saw the six-year-old climbing into the contraption before it became untethered.
The runaway balloon soared up to 7,000ft in the air and reached speeds of 25mph.
It drifted for miles across the Colorado skies before landing gently in the desert after slowly deflating.
Rescue workers, who grabbed the object as it floated down to the ground, opened it and failed to find Falcon.
Speaking after Falcon was discovered at the family home, Larimer
County Sheriff Jim Alderden said: "The boy's been there all the time.
"He's been hiding in a cardboard box in the attic above the garage.
"I don't want to make a conjecture, but this is not the first time when we have been involved in searching for some child.
"And once the child realises people are looking for them, they hide because they're afraid they're going to get in trouble."
Dozens of police and rescue workers had been involved in the search
for Falcon and there had been concerns he may have fallen from the
A spokesman for the Colorado National Guard earlier told Sky News
the boy's brother had said he saw him fall out of the balloon but that
report "was unsubstantiated".
Eloise Campanella of Larimer County Sheriff's Department had told
CNN: "The bottom of (the balloon) is contained and hasn't been breached.
"So at this point we are thinking he did not fall out of it. He has to be somewhere on the ground near his home."
Falcon's father Richard Heene built the balloon at his family's home, reportedly as part of his work as an amateur scientist.
Heene, who once appeared on TV as the father of a "storm-chasing, science-obsessed" family, said the craft was hovering above the ground before it came loose.
Captain Michael Hodges, from the Colorado National Guard, told Sky
News: "I don't know if that's good news or not, that the boy is not in
"We are now going to begin trying to find out where that child is."
He had said the area they had to search was "quite extensive" and
added: "Hopefully we can take care of that as quickly as possible and
hopefully bring this to a happy conclusion."
Sky's US correspondent Robert Nisbet said: "The balloon was in the air for two hours and travelled a distance of 60 miles.
"You can imagine how difficult such an extensive search would be."