Missing three-year-old found by K-9 bloodhounds within half an hour after search crews spent hours trying to locate him
A missing three-year-old boy with autism who was being searched by rescue crews for over two hours was tracked within 30 minutes after K-9 bloodhound officers joined the hunt. Little Aedric Hughes somehow unlocked a door at his family residence in Pace, Florida and wandered into a nearby wooded area on Sunday morning, People reports.
At the time, Aedric's grandmother was babysitting him while his mother was at work. She contacted the police after realizing he was missing. Search crews were brought in by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's office, who scoured the woods for over two hours, but in vain.
During a second attempt at locating the child, deputies brought in a team of bloodhounds to aid their search. Stunningly, it took the canines less than half an hour to sniff out the toddler, who was found underneath a dense bush about 200 yards from his house.
"That's the most terrifying words a mother can get over the phone: 'Your child is missing, get home now,'" Aedric's mom, Audra Hughes, told WPEC-TV. "A couple of hours later [I got] the best news of my life: 'We found your kid.'"
"I'm very grateful to the team," she added. "Words can't express the excitement, the gratitude that I have."
The successful rescue story was shared by the sheriff's office on their Facebook, including a few photos of the team behind it.
In one of the photos, Deputy Robert Lenzo is seen carrying little Aedric back to the safety of his home. According to officials, the boy only suffered a few bruises and bug bites, and is otherwise just fine. The heroic K-9 team became a part of the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office last year. The dogs have since helped successfully locate nine people, including a number of missing senior citizens, children, as well as criminals on the run.