A missing Halifax patient who was considered a "high risk" to the public was found on Wednesday night and returned to hospital, according to police.

RCMP say they found William Cotton, 45, in Lower Sackville around 7:45 p.m. He left the hospital without permission around 8:05 a.m.

Cotton is now back at the Abbie J. Lane Building, part of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Centre. The site is primarily used to treat people with acute mental illness.