COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - A 14-year-old Commerce City boy, who'd been missing nearly 24 hours, was found safe at a gas station Tuesday afternoon when someone recognized him from news coverage and called police.
Commerce City Police Officer Christian Rasmussen said Zach Kingston was an "upset teen who had basically run away" and spent Monday night in a barn.
Officers picked up the boy from a Shell station at Interstate 76 and 88th Avenue about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and drove him home for a reunion with anxious family members.
AIRTRACKER7's camera showed the boy getting out of a patrol car and walking into an open garage at his father's home.
The boy's father, Tom Kingston, said Zach had told him he was going to play football with some kids in a nearby field around 5 p.m. Monday. The teen said he'd home in time for dinner in 45 minutes.
When Zach hadn't returned by 8 p.m., the father called police and a search was launched.
"I'm going crazy. I'm scared out of my mind," the boy's father, Tom Kingston, told reporters outside his home earlier on Tuesday afternoon. The father hadn't slept in 24 hours.
The search continued Tuesday with officers and volunteers searching residential neighborhoods, fields and retail businesses near 101st Place and Sable.
Tom Kingston said it was uncharacteristic for Zach to disappear and the boy had never stayed out overnight without permission.
Zach had just flown home Sunday from Florida, where he'd spent two weeks being "spoiled rotten" while visiting his grandparents, the father said.
Zach spent Monday with his father, brother and sister at the National Western Stock Show rodeo.
"We had a great day," Tom Kingston said.
Zach disappeared that afternoon.
Zach's parents are divorced and the boy began having some discipline issues at school about two years ago, Tom Kingston said.
The father said he began home-schooling Zach to give him 24-hour supervision.
Because Tom Kingston is a long-haul trucker, his big rig became both a home-away-from-home and a rolling classroom for this son.
"I planted his butt in the truck and off we went," the father said.