On break Papa John's manager finds missing Spring Hill boy
Reported By Jamey Tucker, Video Journalist - bio | email
Ben Tipton, 11, went missing from his Spring Hill neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
Hundreds of volunteers gathered to help search for Ben Tuesday night.
The boy was found outside a local Papa John's restaurant.
Papa John's General Manager Terrell Davis found the missing boy outside his restaurant and called police.
SPRING HILL, Tenn. -
An 11-year-old boy who went missing in Spring Hill Tuesday night was found just hours later at a local Papa John's.
Terrell Davis, the pizzeria's general manager, spotted Ben Tipton near the restaurant on Main Street around 10:45 p.m.
Davis and a few other employees were taking a break after a busy night of making and delivering pizzas when they spotted Ben.
"I was squinting looking up that way and Helen [another employee] was looking there too. We were trying to figure out what it was that was moving so fast," he said.
Davis said he ran after the boy who darted behind a building.
"I found him and I asked him what his name was, he told me it was Ben. He asked me who I was and I told him who I was," said Davis. "Then I asked him if his last name was Tipton. He said yes, so I just picked him up and said people are looking for you man. Come on, let's go home."
An employee quickly called 911. Davis said Spring Hill police were there almost immediately.
Police have since said they credit social media for helping locate Ben so quickly.
"My husband and I took to social media, to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and really started sharing the pictures," said Spring Hill resident Rachel Cooper.
Before being found by Davis, Ben was last seen on his bike with a backpack leaving his home in the Pipkin Hill's subdivision around 2:30 p.m.
His bike was located at the Kroger shopping center at Haynes Crossing off of Port Royal Road around 6:30 p.m. An AMBER Alert was issued just before 8 p.m.
As word spread of his disappearance, volunteers quickly gathered to help in the search.
"We're [a close community]. That's why we have so many volunteers out here. The community is coming together and we appreciate that," Spring Hill police Lt. Justin Whitwell said.
Ben's family pastor added, Craig Evans of Spring Hill Church of Christ said he and 300 members of the congregation took part in the search.
He said he spent the day with the Tipton family Wednesday and spoke on closure during his mid-week church message.
"What did we learn last night? We learned how much we can love one child. We learned how we can come together for one purpose," Evans said.
News 2 spoke with Ben's mother, Susan who did not want to speak on camera, but did say she is overwhelmed by the community's support.
Spring Hill police, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation all assisted in the search.
Authorities also used a helicopter to search for Tipton.
Police tell News 2 that Ben ran away from home after an argument with his parents.