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Toddler Missing for 3 Days in Rural Kentucky Is Found Safe

By Web Staff

Kentucky State Police say a 22-month-old boy has been found safe, almost three days after disappearing from his rural Kentucky home.

State police said in a tweet the boy was found just before 2 p.m. Wednesday in Floyd County in the area of a stripe mine. He was taken by emergency medical services to be examined.

News outlets reported earlier that Magoffin County Emergency Management Director Robert Prater said the original search area was a half-mile radius from the home but widened to about 1 mile and included an old, overgrown mining operation.

Magoffin County Search and Rescue Chief Carter Conley said crews were using dogs, ATVs, helicopters and drones with thermal cameras to search the rugged terrain.

Kentucky State Police spokesman William Petry said earlier there was no evidence of foul play. The boy’s father offered a $5,000 reward for the child’s safe return.

Kenneth Howard, who is nearly 2 years old, went missing on May 11 from his home in Salyersville.

Father Elden Howard said on Tuesday that family members think Kenneth just walked out of the house.

“Yeah, it’s just like he disappeared. No sign, no nothing. That’s the reason I’m starting to think, if we can’t find him, somebody’s picked him up,” Howard said, adding that he was offering a $5,000 reward.

Samantha Moore, Kenneth’s mother, said that the toddler was with Howard just before he vanished.

“He was outside with his dad and we see he just went around the back of the house, and when he went around after, he was just gone,” Moore told WTVQ. “It’s like he just disappeared. Like he’s just gone. I just feel like I’m in a daze. Like it’s just a nightmare.”

Kenneth Howard. (Magoffin County Sheriff Department)

Robert Prater, a family friend, and the Magoffin County Emergency Management Director, said that from what he knew the family was on the front porch when the child vanished.

“I think the dad may have been on the front porch talking with maybe one of his brothers. I think the child slipped out the back door,” Prater told WYMT.

NTD News reporter Zachary Steiber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.