Methuen police reported late Sunday night that missing 12-year-old Joseph Christopulos III was found thanks to a Lawrence woman who saw the alert the department posted on Facebook earlier in the evening.
The police distributed a press release and posted a notice to the social media site around 7:30 p.m., asking for the public's help in locating the boy, and numerous users quickly began re-posting and sharing the news. Shortly before 11 p.m., police reported Joseph had been found.
"Thank you to everyone for the re-posts and shares. [Facebook], with the assistance of all of you, [helped] bring home a missing child!" read the latest notice.
Police indicated he was returned safely and reunited with his family, but no further information was provided at the time to explain his disappearance or where he was found.
Methuen police headed up a joint investigation with Peabody and state police. They said no foul play was suspected in the boy's disappearance.
Joseph, who was living at a foster home on Glen Avenue in Methuen, was reported missing on Friday at approximately 6:30 p.m., police said. He apparently walked away from the home and hadn't been seen since.
Joseph's father and step-mother told Peabody Patch earlier on Sunday he was supposed to be transitioning to live with them. They said the last time they had spoken with him was Thursday, and no one had seen or heard from him since then until he was found late Sunday night.
Police said they were targeting their search for Joseph in Lawrence (where he goes to school) and Peabody and Lynn.