A pair of missing 10-year-olds were found safe and sound after a seven-hour search by “an increasing number of police resources,” Const. Lindsey Houghton said.

“The family and friends of Deanna Lloyd and Chloe Zhu are both relieved and grateful,” Houghton said in a release.

The girls were found walking near a grocery store in a strip mall around 8:30 last night after police received reports of numerous sightings from the public. They appeared to have run away and, according to Houghton officers, school officials will be speaking with the girls to determine why.

The two failed to return to school after their lunch break, which led Vancouver police to initiate a search of the southeast neighbourhood of Champlain Heights with help from Burnaby RCMP.

Officers had been told the girls may have decided to go into one of the many large forested areas near their school.

This led police to devote to their search what Houghton called “a large number of resources” and police sent a description of the girls to media outlets hoping for help from the public.