A 3-year-old boy who went missing on Saturday for nearly 24 hours in a Texas national forest was found safe after wandering off from his family’s campsite.
More than 200 people from numerous agencies searched for Ezra Parrish at the Sam Houston National Forest in southeast Texas, according to KFOR. He was found in heavy brush on Sunday just 400 yards away from where the family had set up a camp.
Parrish, who was treated at the scene for minor scrapes and scratches and dehydration, was taken to the hospital for examination and is currently alert and smiling, Jimmy Williams of the New Waverly Fire Department told the news outlet.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Parrish was with his father and siblings when he went missing. His mother, Gloria, and stepfather, Jeremy Cooper, were at a Dave & Busters in Houston when they received a call that he was missing.
After driving to the campsite, they grabbed flashlights and joined the rescue workers while shouting the boy’s name. It was a call for his name from family members that brought the search to an end.
“He was quiet, standing in a thorn bush holding a shoe. Then he got emotional when we got to him. It was very emotional for us too,” his cousin, Lalaine Dungca, told KTRK.
“The outcome I don’t think any of us expected,” Tim Miller, founder of the volunteer search-and-rescue group Texas Equusearch, told KFOR. “I think we were certainly hoping for the best, expecting the worst. We had 200-plus people out there and it just shows everybody working together for the right reason. We can get results like this.”
Added Steve Degnar, President of Montgomery Co. Search and Rescue: “The greatest outcome we could have asked for just happened right now.