Police in Greene County, Ohio, used a helicopter to locate a 3-year-old boy who went missing for several hours before being reunited with his family.
According to local media, the 3-year-old was in the backyard of a house when he ran away from his babysitter around 6 p.m. local time on Thursday (July 20).
Greene County Dispatch received a call about a missing child at about 6 p.m. Thursday, reported NewsCenter’s 7.
“We got there immediately,” he said. “We had a command post set up. We tried to get a hold of the parents. We had different fire departments there that were helping us with the search.”
Greene County Sheriff Scott Anger said the child crossed a corn field, U.S. 35, walked along a drainage ditch, and was finally spotted walking through a soybean field.
“He was in a dense area,” said Sheriff Anger. “And at one point, he had no shoes on. So, it was critical that we found him. Once he got into the beans and not into the high corn, the pilot was able to spot him, which was critical.”
OSHP Aviation located him 500 yards away from the house using a helicopter to assist local deputies in the search. Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) shared aerial footage of the incident, which shows the helicopter crew spotting the boy and directing officials and family members on the ground to the child.
“I believe I have located him,” the helicopter pilot can be heard saying. “He’s in the corner of the bean field, walking around.”
The rescue happened around 8 p.m., and the boy had gone missing for 3 hours. Sheriff Anger said that the minute they saw him alive and well, it was great for everyone.
“Everybody was so exhilarated that we found this young boy, because you know, all the different possibilities.”
“Just to see how happy they were, and just can’t say enough about the public,” he said. “The public was out helping, the farmers. Everybody was dropping everything that they were doing to look for this boy, and it was great to see the spirit of cooperation.”
Sheriff Anger said the boy had a few bumps and scratches but was in good spirits, so the family doctor later examined him.
The family was “very grateful” after reuniting with the toddler, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.