Kordell Ellis, 9, told his mom he was going to a friend's house -- and promised to be home before dark. So when the sun went down and Kordell was not back, his mom walked the neighborhood.
"I was out here looking for him, and I didn't have my phone," said Tanicca Ellis.
When Ellis could not find her son, she called police. During that time, she was too upset to notice she had missed a phone call.
Milwaukee police, family, and friends went door-to-door searching for Kordell.
"They had a second shift, third shift, first shift," said Terry Atwater. "They was here around the clock."
On Monday morning, friends were getting ready to hang missing child posters when the phone Tanicca Ellis held tight rang again.
"It was like, disbelief, because he's been gone all this time," said Ellis. "She says, 'Yes, I have Kordell. I'm pulling up to your house now.'"
The woman on the other end of the line did not know the city was searching for Kordell. She thought his mom got the message she left the night before -- the one explaining that Kordell wanted to have a sleepover with her son.
"I just ran outside and hugged him and just cried," Ellis said.
Young Kordell was back in his mother's arms Monday -- unaware he put his own neighborhood on high alert.
"Just total miscommunication," said Ellis.
Ellis told FOX6 News that from now on, she will ask the name of the friend Kordell is going to play with -- and then give that friend's parent or guardian a call.