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Video shows exact moment Texas cop finds 3 missing kids in forest: 'I got them'

The three children went missing on September 30, in Sam Houston National Forest
UPDATED OCT 11, 2021
The lost children were found by a policeman and a Good Samaritan (Facebook/Mark Keough County Judge)
The lost children were found by a policeman and a Good Samaritan (Facebook/Mark Keough County Judge)

Three children went missing on Thursday, September 30, in Sam Houston National Forest in Montgomery, Texas which led to a multi-agency search effort. They were all found safe on Friday morning, October 1. Now, body camera footage has been released that shows the moment a policeman rescued the children. 

The video shows Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Sergeant Jason Smith calling out to the kids — two of whom are 6-year-olds and one is aged 7. “I got 'em, I got 'em. I have the kids,” Sgt Smith said into his radio after instructing the group to come to him. “I have all three children.” The kids were accompanied by a volunteer who had found the children in the woods.


Reportedly, after hearing reports the children had gone missing, the anonymous Good Samaritan, who knew the forest well, set out on his own to search for the kids. Around 9.30 am he found the children in an area of the forest at least a mile from where they were thought to have entered. The volunteer is heard asking Smith in the bodycam footage, “Ain’t Jesus good?” to which Smith replies “He’s good.”

Smith was heard telling the kids, “I’m the police. Are y’all ready to get out of the woods?” One of the children is heard saying, “I’m really hungry right now.” After that, Smith is heard saying, “We’re going to get something to eat.” The children told Smith they took shelter under a fallen tree overnight. They reportedly said their parents had in the past advised them to stay in one spot and wait for help in the event they got lost.

After the children were found, Lt Scott Spencer with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said they were checked by emergency workers and then reunited with their families. Montgomery County EMS personnel confirmed they were not injured.


Deputies said they were dispatched around 7.55 pm Thursday after receiving an initial report of a lost person in the area of 20800 Julie Lane. According to deputies, the caller said three children were missing and believed to be lost in the Sam Houston National Forest, which surrounds the Flamingo Lake Subdivision. According to Spencer, the children left their homes during the day to play with each other. When parents realized the children weren’t at each other’s homes, they called the authorities.

The Sherrif’s office learned the three children took a commonly used trail that connects the residences of the children. The trail is used by the neighborhood so the kids stay off the main road. Law enforcement agencies from several jurisdictions, along with fire department personnel, arrived and began an extensive search for the missing children.

Montgomery County Search and Rescue was also reportedly called in to assist in the search, along with helicopters, drones, and K-9 tracking dogs. Spencer said the area that the children went in is very “dense” but there are no bodies of water nearby.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough took to social media to announce that the children were found, and commended police and first-responders for their efforts during the search. “All three kids have been located safe. EMS has checked them out and they are at home with mom and dad,” he wrote on Facebook.