A missing boy was found after a search involving an army of web savvy residents.

Users of Twitter in Worthing, Portslade and Hove were mobilised on foot, bikes and in cars after a 13-year-old boy went missing from his home.

Thousands of tweets – short messages of up to 140 characters in length posted on users’ profiles – were sent across the globe.

It included a response from multimillionaire businessman and Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne.

The appeal, which urged people to “check of alleyways, back gardens, nearby parks”, was led by Worthing-based artist Dan Thompson.

The description put on the internet stated: “Missing Aaron H, young-looking 13 yrs old, looks very mod - slim, Weller hair, dark blue jeans, blue T. Missing Worthing/ Hove.”

The appeal stated the youngster was last seen near Bunce’s hardware store in Chapel Road, Worthing on Saturday about 5pm.

News spread on the internet about 6pm on Sunday.

Searches were made of Marine Gardens and Steyne Gardens in Worthing, in addition to near his father’s home in Salisbury Road, Hove.

Officers from Sussex Police checked hospitals, contacted neighbouring forces and called a friend's address where the missing person was believed to have been staying.

The Patcham High pupil was found at a friend’s house in Vale Road, Portslade about 11pm on Sunday.

He was returned to his father's house shortly afterwards.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police, said: “As shown in this case, the internet provides a great way to spread messages very quickly.

“When people go missing, families and friends are usually keen to be involved in the search.

“We will always carry out our own enquiries, but we also welcome families and friends helping us search and can advise them where best to focus their efforts.”

He added the force already uses Twitter for appeals alongside its wider media activity.