MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Magoffin County toddler who disappeared Sunday evening was found alive Wednesday afternoon not far from his home after a massive multi-agency search, officials say.
Authorities said 22-month-old Kenneth Neil Howard went missing about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Officials said Wednesday that the child was found just before 2 p.m. less than 2,000 feet from the home. Rescuers say they heard the boy crying and found him on a cliff area.
“It hits home,” said Chris Hecker with Kentucky State Emergency Management. “It hits home. and we weren’t going to give up. I told the mother that when I saw her, but then we flew him out I said, ‘We didn’t give up.’”
Carter Conley, of Magoffin Search and Rescue, seconded that sentiment.
“I told the father that it’s a proud day,” Conley said. “It was a team effort, and God led us in the hands and to move that way.”
Kentucky State Police tell LEX 18 that the case remains under investigation.
KSP said the boy was found “in the area of a strip mine in Floyd County,” near the border with Magoffin County.
Officials said the boy was airlifted to the Huntington Pediatric Trauma Unit to get checked out as a safety precaution.
Police and rescue crews had centered their search around Kentucky Highway 7 on the Magoffin and Floyd County line.
Hundreds of people and search crews from Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee took part in the search.
NEW: Search and rescue members gave us this video of 22-month-old Kenneth Howard before he was taken to the hospital to be checked out.
— Conor McCue (@Conor_WLEX) May 15, 2019