An autistic boy who disappeared on Monday in Southern California was found safe on Tuesday in a rare happy ending to a missing-child story.

Joshua Robb, 8, who has severe autism, spent the night lost in a forest near the San Bernardino Mountains during a lightning storm. But he somehow made it through with no injuries, just exhaustion and dehydration.

The boy escaped through the fence of his elementary school playground near Lake Arrowhead on Monday morning, and his teachers couldn't catch him, ABC News reported.

The police were contacted right away, and they spent the rest of the day searching for Robb, but the search had to be suspended overnight because of dangerous weather conditions, including heavy rain and lightning. It resumed in earnest around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, with police from three counties scouring the forest, aided by sniffing dogs and a helicopter.

The searchers got creative, luring Robb with music -- including Ozzy Osbourne, whom he likes -- and recordings of his father's voice.

They feel it will comfort him and draw him, Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County sheriff, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

By the time he was found, Robb had wandered about a mile from his school, according to The Associated Press.

The boy's father, Ron Robb, told an ABC News affiliate in Los Angeles that he believed Joshua had run away to try to find his parents after the authorities put him in the care of his teacher. He had been removed from his parents' custody after they allegedly tied him to a pole to restrain him while they were moving out of their house because of foreclosure proceedings.

All he knows is us, Ron said. We've never had a break from my son ever since he was born. We know for a fact that that's why he escaped, because he was out trying to find us.