A 13-year-old boy spent more than nine hours locked in the stairwell of an East Germantown middle school before being released early Friday, police said.

Relatives of David Fields, 13, said his screams led them to him after a night of searching, including an earlier stop at Roosevelt Middle School, 430 E. Washington Lane. His mother, Angela Johnson, said janitors at the school would not let family members in and told them they had not seen or heard him.

The teen's family reported him missing after he did not come home from school after its 3 p.m. dismissal. Police said relatives who later returned to the school heard him screaming about 12:10 a.m., and he was let out by 12:30 a.m.

Fernando Gallard, a School District spokesman, said the stairwell where the boy was found is an emergency-exit tower and should not be used to leave school. Still, he said, at least the bottom door of the tower should have been open and unlocked until a final nighttime inspection by staff. - Staff report