Rescuers have confirmed the 3-year-old boy who went missing in the woods was found alive this past Saturday.
Christopher Ramirez was discovered by a landowner near Texas State Highway 249, according to Tim Miller, founder and director of Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue organization dedicated to searching for missing persons.
Ramirez was reunited with his mother and taken to Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands, where he will be “observed and monitored for a period of time,” according to Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell.
Christopher’s grandfather, Juan Nunez, informed KTRK-TV that family members hope Christopher will be able to return home by Sunday. The toddler was located around 11:45 a.m. local time and “dehydrated as well as hungry” but “in overall good spirits and healthy,” Sowell said.
“He was in good shape, for the most part. For the conditions being down in the woods … he’ll be the ultimate Army Ranger, Navy SEAL, Air Force when he [grows up], but he’s already passed the first test,” he said.
It was not clear how Christopher wandered so far from his home in Plantersville — which is about 5 miles away from where he was found. It is also unclear where he was for the past few days.
Christopher was playing with a neighbor’s dog on Wednesday while his mother unloaded groceries from her car, authorities state. The boy then followed the dog into the woods. And while the dog returned, the toddler did not.
Sowell shared that there was no evidence of foul play, and family members were not persons of interest. An anonymous local homeowner heard of Christopher’s disappearance during Bible study and reportedly began searching the dense woods near his home.
“The citizen was walking his property and heard this whimper, maybe a cry, and saw the little boy, took him into his arms and called in,” Sowell said. “We responded with the mother and reunited them.”
Hundreds of searchers looked through the woods day and night by ground, air and water while investigators looked for leads related to the disappearance. The search involved multiple agencies and volunteer groups, including the FBI and Texas EquuSearch.
“We really put our heart and soul that he was out in these woods. And it’s [heartwarming] to know that if a child is out there, the urgency to find him really pulls on everybody’s heartstring,” said Grimes County Constable Blake Jarvis.
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