Zandar McGee, 2, was reported missing around 7 p.m. His parents say he is autistic and has a twin.
The child apparently wandered away while playing outside. Each of his parents say they thought the other was outside with the child, but apparently he was alone.
Zandar's father, Rick McGee, said he helplessly watched officials search for his son.
"As a parent you want to be out there in the woods trying to track him down and call him, but actually that's the worst thing you can do because you can just mess things up," he said.
A phone message was sent out to residents in the area where the toddler was reported missing.
"A wonderful neighbor that heard the alert, went out and found him curled up by the side of the road," McGee said.
Searchers found him just before 11 p.m. near Damascus Church Road and Price Church Road, near his home.
"He was happy, he's in mother's hands right now and he was grinning when she picked him up," McGee said.
Orange and Chatham sheriff's offices participated in the search along with K9 units and the Highway Patrol helicopter.