12-year-old boy missing in the woods near Debert found safe

12-year-old boy missing in the woods in the Debert area

A 12-year-old boy who was missing in the woods in the Debert area of Nova Scotia has been found safe, RCMP say. 

Bret Kitchin-Strong was reported missing after taking part in an orienteering competition near Lysander Ave. at about 3:00 p.m. Saturday. RCMP say he was located shortly before midnight.

Bret's dad, Derek Strong, said the family is thankful for all the support.

"We are holding all four of our children close today and thankful for Bret being found safe and sound and all the support from family, friends, the community, air cadets, search and rescue and local authorities," said Strong in a Facebook message to CBC News.

RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said so many volunteers turned out to help that trained searchers had trouble getting into the woods. Last night she advised the public to leave the search efforts to professionals.

Still, Clarke said the RCMP appreciates the public's assistance.

"I've never seen so much community involvement in trying to help someone who was missing in the woods," said Clarke. "It was really actually quite impressive the number of people that were out trying to help."