A young autistic boy found in the woods this morning after being missing for two days is alive but suffering from hypothermia and is in critical condition, says Nova Scotia's Emergency Health Services department.

Seven-year-old James Delorey was found Monday morning, about one kilometre from a command post that was set up in South Bar, N.S., north of Sydney.

Cape Breton Regional Police spokesperson Desiree Vassallo would not comment on Delorey's condition earlier Monday, but said more information would be released at a news conference later today. That news conference has been scheduled for 4 p.m. local time.

"We're confirming that he has been located, but at this point that's all the information that I have," she said.

"Paramedics are being taken to the scene to assess his situation."

Delorey had been missing since Saturday afternoon, when it is believed that he followed his pet dog, a Dalmation-mix named Chance, into a wooded, marshy area in South Bar, about 10 kilometres north of Sydney.

The dog returned home on Monday morning without Delorey.

Authorities had said they hoped to follow the dog's tracks in the snow, as part of an intensive search effort that involved aircraft, police and volunteers searchers.

The search was especially urgent for several reasons, including the fact that Delorey was not dressed for winter weather when he went missing and that he is autistic.

Delorey did not have a winter coat on when he went missing, and he was not wearing a hat or mittens. A snowstorm hit the region only hours after he went missing.

With files from The Canadian Press