Missing boy found unharmed

A missing Houston boy was found unharmed today inside an apartment operated by the Houston Housing Authority.

A woman who had seen Evan Direnzo’s photograph on the Houston Herald Web site discovered the 16-year-old boy on a couch inside the apartment. Direnzo told police he had been staying there with a friend’s grandmother, who was unaware he had been reported missing.

Direnzo hadn’t been seen by his family since he left his residence Saturday, Aug. 23, following a disagreement with his parents. Direnzo’s father said it was unlike his son to disappear without calling and began distributing missing fliers around town.

The Herald placed Direnzo’s photo and a brief story online late Monday afternoon. It also sent out a breaking news e-mail to more than 500 subscribers.

Direnzo, who turns 17 this weekend, told authorities he was unhappy with his current living arrangements and planned to hide until he was considered a legal adult. He also said he would return to school, where he hadn’t reported for his senior year. Direnzo has excelled at speech and debate at Houston High School.

Direnzo was carrying his belongings in a Wal-Mart bag.

A $5,000 reward was being offered for Direnzo, who will be turned over to juvenile authorities.

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