Ground, air units from 7 counties had joined in search south of La Pine
(Update: With photo, statement by Klamath County SO)
GILCHRIST, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Searchers from seven counties and numerous agencies scoured an area northeast of Gilchrist on Saturday for a missing 3-year-old boy who wandered away while camping with family -- and more than 17 hours later came happy news: He was found, safe and sound.
Klamath County sheriff's deputies and Search and Rescue teams were deployed around 8:30 p.m. Friday to the area off Beal Road, between highways 97 and 31 south of La Pine, to join in the search for the boy, Klamath County Emergency Manager Brandon Fowler said.
Fowler said word came shortly after noon Saturday that the boy was found in good condition.
The family identified the boy as Nolan Erion of Keizer, who was camping in the area with his father, Sean, and other family members.
"He is eating and drinking water and acting like nothing happened!" the boy's mother, Raylene Erion, said in a Facebook post, according to a family friend, Lori Tisdale, after a sheriff's deputy apparently found the child.
"Well, friends -- God is still in the miracle-working business!" Tisdale said in a Facebook post.
The boy reportedly was taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls for a check-up, but family and friends said he appeared to be just fine.
The sheriff's office later posted a reunion photo of the family and a statement from Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Commander Brian Bryson: “We’re all relieved that this young child has been found safe and has been reunited with his family. This is a great illustration of the fantastic search teams that we have in Southern Oregon and Northern California. We were able to mobilize an incredible amount of resources in a short amount of time, and that is the difference maker.”
By Saturday morning, search and rescue teams from Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Lake, Jackson and Siskiyou counties also were involved in the search, along with air and ground resources from the Oregon Air National Guard, Oregon State Police, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, as well as Oregon Outback Rural Fire.
"Searchers are utilizing all the tools at their disposal in the effort," Fowler said in an earlier news release, including K-9 teams, thermal imaging, drones and searchers on foot and by horseback.
Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Garibay said the county had sent SAR and K-9 units Friday night and again on Saturday.