SPRAKERS – After more than four harrowing hours and a massive search involving everyone from the sheriff’s deputies to the Amish community to a helicopter, rescuers found a 2-year-old boy and his puppy safe and sound – in “big.” Distance ”from his home in Montgomery County.
The boy, Caleb Kauffman, who is nearly 3 years old, was reported missing from his home on Route 162 in the town of Root at 11:04 am Thursday, Sheriff Jeffery Smith said. The family’s four-month-old Golden Retriever, Layla, was also missing.
MPs and a state police canine unit responded, conducted some interviews, and ransacked the property. But Smith said it had been decided that more resources were needed.
The searchers were a veritable who’s who of the local first responders, but also of the neighbors in the rural and sparsely populated city. A total of between 250 and 300 people were involved in the search, said the sheriff.
The Sheriff’s Department Facebook page also lit up with hundreds of comments from people expressing their hopes and offering prayers for a safe return. Many – some from far outside the region – offered to join the search. All-terrain vehicles joined hikers as they combed the area.
But at 3:41 pm, Caleb was found far from home, as was Layla. Social media posts galore reflected gratitude and relief. Caleb was examined by emergency doctors and brought back to his family unharmed, the sheriff said.
The exact location, distance from home and the name of the volunteer who found her were not disclosed on Thursday evening.
One statement from Smith reads:
“It cannot be repeated enough the importance of quick notifications, thorough investigations, the use of staff, volunteers and equipment in cases like this. This has been a total team effort that we are proud and grateful for, especially for the result. Thank you To everyone who participated, everyone who donated and everyone who is ready to serve. “
The following were involved in the search:
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; the state police and their aviation unit; Montgomery County Emergency Management / Services Office; state forest rangers and environmental police; State Office for Fire Prevention and Control; Police from Amsterdam, Canajoharie and Fort Plain; Gloversville Ambulance Corps; Fire department volunteers from Rural Grove, Canajoharie, Mohawk City, Fort Plain, Florida, Glen and Carlisle; Fulton County Emergency Management / Services Office, Schoharie County Search and Rescue Team, NEMSAR K-9, numerous members of the Amish community and numerous members of the public.