After an hours-long search, sheriff’s officials say the quest to reunite a little boy with his parents ended happily.

Officials had been seeking the public’s help in identifying the child found Thursday wandering inside an Encinitas store.

Deputies from the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station were called around noon to the Michael’s store in the 300 block of North El Camino Real after company employees said they found the child alone inside the retailer.

Despite making announcements over the store’s public address system, as well as searching the parking lot and surrounding businesses, the employees did not find the child’s parents.

The Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter was used for public address announcements in the surrounding neighborhoods, but those too were unsuccessful in locating the boy’s family, according to a sheriff’s department statement.

More than five hours after the child was found, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore tweeted that the child’s parent’s were still sought.

The boy told deputies his name is Connor. He was believed to be between three and four years old and appeared in good health.

The child was taken into protective custody and released to the care of Child Welfare Services at the Polinsky Children’s Center.

Shortly before 7 p.m., he was finally reunited with his parents.

There is no word on why the child was alone in the store or what took so long to find his parents.

–Staff

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