The Kentucky toddler who vanished from his family’s home has been found alive after an extensive three-day search through the surrounding wooded area, officials said.
Kenneth’s family was notified he was found as emergency responders transported the toddler to a medical facility to be examined and treated if needed, police said.
The area the child was found in borders Magoffin County, where his family’s rural home is located and the search initially began.
“The Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office is happy to confirm the reports that Kenneth Howard has been FOUND!!!” the department wrote on Facebook. “ … [H]e is alive, he is being attended by medics for dehydration, but is in remarkably good condition.”
Kenneth was reported missing Sunday evening by his family, who called for help about an hour after realizing he was nowhere to be found, officials said. Relatives later said they believed he may have walked out the back door of the house.
Emergency responders and volunteers, some using search dogs and horses, combed through the dense and steep wooded hillside behind and around the house for any signs of Kenneth, as helicopters scanned the area from above.
Those on foot relied on rope to help navigate the rough terrain, which at one point nearly caused an ATV to flip over.
“[There] is no limit to the effort being made to find this sweet child,” the sheriff’s office said Monday. “There is no greater tragedy than not knowing the whereabouts of a child and we will continue to do everything humanly possible to ensure he is found safe and sound and returned home to his family.”
A photo of Kenneth taken after he was found alive showed the little boy wearing only a diaper and surrounded by searchers.
“Thanks to all who prayed, searched and helped in any way!!" the sheriff’s office wrote. "This is the best news ever!!!”