A young boy who wandered away from home in rural northern Alberta Monday morning was found safe — with his loyal puppy still by his side.
The six-year-old went missing from his home in the New Fish Creek area, about 30 kilometres north of Valleyview, just before 10 a.m., reports CBC News.
Friends and family searched for two hours before police were called in to help.
Eleven hours later he was found, around 9 p.m., after a neighbour spotted the young boy and his six-month-old golden Labrador in a forested area.
“He had taken off his clothes and shoes and was naked when we found him,” volunteer searcher Jerry Eagles, who is credited with finding the boy, told The Edmonton Journal.
“It could have been a much different ending.”
The boy, who has autism, had made it approximately 1.5 kilometres from his home over the course of the day, reports Global News.
According to officials, the search effort included:
- 1 RCMP helicopter
- 2 helicopters from Sustainable Resource Development
- Civilian Air Search and Rescue
- 4 police service dogs
- trained RCMP search manager
- trained civilian search manager
- Valleyview Community Police
- Volunteers on horseback
- Volunteers on foot
- Multiple all-terrain vehicles
- Civilian Air Search and Rescue (CASARA), Edmonton
- 50 trained search and rescue civilians
- Valleyview Fire Department
"We were playing against time. The temperature was dropping and nightfall was setting in," Staff Sgt. Bruce Bracken with Valleyview RCMP told CBC News.
"We all pulled together to find this little boy and it paid off."
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