DRESDENA massive search for a missing local boy ended joyously Thursday when he was found safe near the Eastern River after spending a lonely night in the woods.

Micah Thomas, 12, disappeared after getting off the school bus Wednesday afternoon. He was found nearly 24 hours later by a resident searching near his home.

Micah, who was sitting in the woods near a smelt shack, was no longer wearing his boots and was unable to walk when found. Lt. Kevin Adam of the Maine Warden Service said Micah was at least mildly hypothermic.

“I’m ecstatic,” Adam said. “I was extremely concerned the longer it went on. They usually don’t last this long.”

Sgt. Mark Warren of the Maine Warden Service said Micah was taken by a Marine Patrol boat to the east side of the river, where he was briefly reunited with his parents, and then taken by ambulance to be treated for exposure.

“He was cold and wet, but he’s in good condition,” Warren said.

The boy got off the bus around 3 p.m., at the intersection of Eagle Lodge Lane and Route 127, according to authorities. He was last seen an hour later on East Pittston Road, a dead-end road a few miles from where he was dropped off.

The Maine Warden Service led the search for the boy that included roughly 50 people from multiple law enforcement and civilian search agencies using dogs, airboats, ground searchers, a helicopter and an airplane. Overnight temperatures dropped to about 25 degrees.

Adam was starting a news conference to update reporters on the search when someone whispered into his ear that the boy had been found.

The circumstances of the boy’s disappearance aren’t yet known because he hasn’t been interviewed, Warren added.

Pickup trucks belonging to the Maine Warden Service and Maine Forest Service gathered at the Pine Grove Cemetery on Blinn Hill Road to scour the woods in the area. Warden and ranger trucks, as well as vehicles belonging to citizen volunteers, were parked along logging roads and turnoffs throughout the town.

Rescuers carried global positioning systems to track the areas they searched. That information was fed into computers at a command center at Pownalborough Hall adjacent to the fire station on Route 197.

The information was transmitted to a computer onboard a Maine Forest Service helicopter to ensure full coverage of the search area, said Ranger Lt. Jeff Currier.

Steve Lavoie, principal at Hall-Dale Middle School where Thomas is a seventh-grade honors student and cross-country runner, earlier said he had talked to the boy’s parents who were involved in the search effort.

“I’ve talked to them about the situation in general and how we can be of support,” Lavoie said.