Kenneth Howard, who is 22 months old, has been found alive

By Greg Hanlon
May 15, 2019 03:54 PM
Magoffin County Sheriff Department

Update: Kenneth Howard, the 22-month-old boy who vanished from his family home in Kentucky on Sunday, has been found alive, the Kentucky State Police announced Wednesday.

Kenneth was found “in the area of a strip mine in Floyd County, which is on the border of Magoffin County,” from which the boy disappeared, according to the release.

Kenneth was transported to a medical facility “for examination and treatment if needed,” the release states.

The investigation into his case remains ongoing, according to the release.

Authorities are searching for a Kentucky toddler who vanished on Sunday, and the boy’s father speculated he might have been abducted.

Kenneth Howard, who is 22 months old, vanished from a Magoffin County residence on Sunday, according to a news release from the Kentucky State Police.

Trooper William Petry of the state police tells PEOPLE that Kenneth’s father told authorities he was in the front yard with the boy, who then went behind the house. When the dad then looked for Kenneth behind the house, the boy was gone.

“It’s just like he disappeared. No sign, no nothing,” the father, Elden Howard, told WKYT. “That’s the reason [I’ve] started to think, if we can’t find him, somebody’s picked him up.”

Petry says there is a wooded hillside behind and around the boy’s home, and that search crews have been challenged by the terrain, which is steep and covered by trees and brush. The search, which is ongoing, has included helicopters, drones with thermal cameras, off-read vehicles and dogs.

Petry says the temperature was in the 40s the night the boy disappeared and he didn’t have a jacket on, putting him at risk for hypothermia. He added there are coyotes, bears and red foxes in the area, saying, “We have a large amount of wildlife that could be a danger to the child.”

The father told the station he has offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who returns the boy, no questions asked.

“I would just like to see him come home safe,” he said.

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A Facebook post by the Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office states, “There is no limit to the effort being made to find this sweet child.”

WKYT reports vigils were held Tuesday night to show support for the boy’s family.

Kenneth is described as having blonde hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing red jogging pants, sandals and a gray Avengers t-shirt.

The Kentucky State Police are asking anyone who has information on the child to call (606)-433-7711.