Police: Daytona Beach boy fell asleep in bed of pickup, woke up in Jacksonville

A major search for an 11-year-old boy in Daytona Beach came to an unexpected close Friday. 

"He was reported missing last night, so we had been looking for him throughout the night, and then lo and behold we get the phone call this morning that he was recovered in Jacksonville," said Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young. 

Eleaser Johnson admits he ran away from home Thursday night.

"I was frustrated over homework that I didn’t want to do," Johnson said 

Johnson says he crawled into the bed of someone’s pickup truck, wrapped himself in a tarp, and fell asleep. 

The driver of the pickup had no idea Johnson was in the back and headed from Daytona Beach up to Jacksonville early Friday morning for work.

"When I looked into the back of the truck, my tarp was pulled out from under my toolbox," said the driver, who asked us not to share his name. "I went to reach for it, to grab it - and the young man just popped out from under it." 

The driver says Johnson didn’t say much. He called the police and got the boy some food. Johnson was then reunited with his dad.

"We’re thankful to God he’s home – that’s first and foremost. That’s the top thing," said Johnson’s father, also named Eleaser Johnson.  

Johnson says he won’t do it again. 

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