Six-year-old found safe in forest in Val-des-Monts, Que. after overnight search
VAL-DES-MONTS, QUE. -- The parents of a six-year-old boy say he is doing well after spending the night alone in a wooded area in Val-des-Monts, Que
After an all-night search, MRC-des Collines de l'Outaouais Police said the boy was found at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday after searchers heard the boy crying. He was located about half a kilometre from the home.
"They had bundled him up in a foil blanket and they handed him right to me," said Martin and Theresa Owen about the reunion with their son Sunday morning.
Martin and Theresa Owen tell CTV News Ottawa their son Jerome went missing just after dinner Saturday night. After searching on their own, they turned to the police for help.
"Took us about 45 minutes to an hour to realize that we need to make a plan and my sister-in-law was like, 'I'm calling the police.' Okay, that's probably the best plan," said Martin Owen on Sunday.
Police arrived within five minutes of the call to begin the search. There were 70 people involved in the search for Jerome.
"These volunteers were here all night, going in search parties. We kept seeing parties go up and come back down, and every time they came back down their faces were so sad," said Theresa Owen. "There was nothing we could do, we just kept praying."
In a release, police said the boy was in good health when he was found, about half a kilometre from home.
"Despite the fact that he was dressed lightly and that the temperature was close to freezing, he was doing well. As a precautionary measure, the toddler was transported to a hospital in order to verify his health condition," police said.
Police said that, for the moment, the exact reason for his disappearance is unknown, but officers thanked the people who helped look for the boy on short notice.
"He told me he took off his wet shoes and put them beside him and he lay down in the tall grass, put his hands in his pockets and curled up," said Martin Owen, with Theresa adding he fell asleep.
The boy was checked out in hospital before returning home.
"You could feel the police officers, just everyone was relieved and everyone was cheering," said Theresa Owen, adding Jerome is thankful for everyone spending the night searching for him. "It was beautiful and they worked so hard."