A Williamson County deputy returned a 6-year-old boy home safely after he was found wandering alone near midnight on Thursday.

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said a deputy found the child at 11:50 p.m. walking alone on the grass in the 5300 block of FM 1660. The deputy immediately stopped to check on the boy and discovered he was wearing a backpack. Officials reported that the boy said he was walking to school and that his parents were not aware that he had left his home.

The sheriff's office said the boy was not able to communicate where he lived, though the deputy was eventually able to find the boy's home address and confirm his legal guardians. He was returned home safely.

"Deputy Bell's interaction with this child undoubtedly saved the child and family from some form of catastrophic outcome," said Sheriff Robert Chody. "The young age of the child coupled with the time of night and a million other likely negative scenarios, I am extremely proud of Deputy Bell's actions. Let this also be an opportunity to educate our community that young people sometimes can bypass doors and locks all while adults are sleeping.