UPDATE: Missing Mississippi 5-year-old boy found safe. Sheriff wants to know how child ended up miles from home.

Published 5:22 am Friday, July 15, 2022

A Mississippi sheriff said a missing 5-year-old Mississippi boy was found safe and that his office is investigating how the child ended up miles away from his house.

Thursday afternoon, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a residence on county road 711, near Verona, to investigate a report of a missing child. Around 10 pm Thursday night, 911 received a tip of a small child being spotted with a dog on Green Street near the Highway 45 exit area.

When deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded, a deputy spotted the dogs near a ditch where the child was found. The child was alert, wet, and dehydrated.

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“I can say the child was alert and responding with personnel attending to him prior to being transported,” the sheriff said in a press release. “Mississippi Child Protective Services was contacted and is currently working the case from a placement end. I can assure you that my office will exhaust all means to hold responsible anyone that acted in any criminal way that resulted in this child being found almost three miles from home.”

Earlier in the day, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert for the missing child.

The child was described as a 5-year-old wearing green pants and dark color shirt. The child was last seen in the backyard playing with his two dogs around 1030 on the same date as the report. Multiple jurisdictions responded to help search for the child. Ground search, water search, and air search were conducted.

Area Fire Departments, Law Enforcement Agencies, Search and Rescue Teams, and civilian volunteers searched though out the day and into the night.

When the child was located, medical personnel attended to the child and transported him to a Tupelo hospital for observation purposes.

“I want to personally extend my thanks to all law enforcement, Lee Communications, fire departments, search and rescue teams, private citizens, and media outlets that assisted in this search. Thank you to the public for helping share the information that resulted in finding this child safely,” the sheriff said. “Thank you for the many prayers that were offered. Finding this child safe was our goal and we are thankful it was accomplished.”