After several hours the pair was found, unharmed, by police at the Jersey Turnpike’s Clara Barton Service Plaza which, for those unfamiliar with the area, rests near the Jersey/Delaware state line.
The two had been reported missing shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday. Their ride, a white Range Rover, was spotted in the afternoon by New Jersey State Police after passing into the Garden State from Staten Island. A local CBS affiliate writes that those troopers flashed their lights and turned on the siren to get the preteen driver to pull over, but that the boy subsequently hit the gas and took off. It's not clear if those troopers were aware that it was just children in the car, and they reportedly made the decision to back off for the kids' safety.
Simulatenously the SUV was being tracked through readers for EZPass.
A citywide alert had been sent out by the NYPD, perhaps you got it, while the two were being sought. It's unlikely they were ever in any danger (well, outside of a 12-year-old operating a two-and-a-half ton vehicle on the Jersey Turnpike) and, like we already said, they were fine when they were found at about 2:15 p.m local time.
While a motive is unconfirmed, police think the whole ordeal may have stemmed from a social media challenge that tasks drivers with riding a car until it runs out of gas.
Anyway these are all pretty regionally-specific references/problems, so if you're from, say, Kansas/Wyoming/other state and made it this far then that's pretty cool of you.