Missing Schertz boy survived in 'hiding spot'

Anthony Sosa, 11, fends off cold beneath heating duct

SCHERTZ, Texas – Missing for 20 hours, Anthony Sosa, 11, survived the coldest weather yet this yearbeneath a 10-by-12-inch heating duct under a neighbor's house.

"It was warm whenever I was right by it, so I just stayed there," Anthony said as he kneeled by the torn skirting where he had crawled in after running away from home Thursday.

The boy said he even punched a hole in the heating duct to allow the warmth to escape and covered himself with insulation.

"For an 11-year-old boy to think that, he's pretty smart," said Alfred Silvas, Anthony's uncle.

Silvas said he and an officer had lights when they searched where Anthony was hiding, but didn't see the boy hidden by the ductwork.

"I heard everything, but I wasn't brave enough to get out from my hiding spot," Anthony said. 

Lt. John Correu, with the Schertz Police Department, said Anthony's parents told him Thursday before school to come inside because he was still in his pajamas on a very cold morning.

Correu said being a strong-willed child, he left, triggering an all-out ground, and air search by law enforcement agencies and volunteers.

"I just wanted to cool down and come back in a little while," Anthony said.

But although he wanted to go back home, Anthony said he stayed put.

"I was just waiting, and waiting and waiting because I was so scared," Anthony said.

Finally, after seeing the search going on around him, Anthony said he realized he'd made a mistake.

"I just came out because I thought they were looking for me," Anthony said.

He emerged about 3 a.m. Friday into the arms of a state game warden.

The boy said the worst part wasn't the freezing weather.

"The worst part was making my parents real scared," Anthony said.

He said someday when he grows up, he'll share his story with his children.

He said, "But I'll tell them not to do what I did."

Correu said this was a case of a child running away from home, and at this point there is no need for further investigation.

The Sosa family and Schertz police said they are grateful for the efforts by so many to find the child.