Hundreds of volunteers rallied to help find a lost boy, and everyone is now relieved he was found.
PRESCOTT, Wis. (KMSP) -
Scotty Meyer was found alive and well Wednesday morning near his home in Oak Grove, Wis.
Scotty wandered away from his home just before noon Tuesday. After spending 21 hours outdoors, the non-verbal 5-year-old with autism was found by searchers.
"Scotty Meyer has been found ALIVE near his home," the Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove posted on Facebook. "He has some mosquito bites and is a bit dehydrated."
Scotty was found by volunteer Jason Moser, an Ellsworth man who joined the search effort at daybreak Wednesday morning. Moser followed a dog named Autumn into the woods and heard Scotty whimpering.
"I just started yelling for help," Moser told FOX 9 News. "Like I said, I was probably crying more than he was."
Scotty was found maybe about 30 to 40 yards down a steep hill near a river, crouched under a tree.
"I could hear him," Moser recalled. "My dog was just a little ways ahead of me and I didn't know if Scotty saw the dog or just was terrified from being out there so long -- but I heard him and then, his bare skin sticks right out there in the woods. It was easy to see him, so I just started running."
Scotty's shorts were found part-way down and he was left wearing only a diaper. The boy had a sunburn, ticks, mosquito bites, extreme diaper rash and dehydration.
"God answered our prayers," said Brenda Coser, the boy's aunt. "They walked in, they said, 'He's been found. He's in an officer's arms.' It really affected us."
The boy's parents, Richard and Barbara Meyer, issued the following statement after their son was found:
are grateful to Pierce County Law Enforcement, volunteers, friends and family for all their support and
dedication to helping us find our son."
Scotty will spend the night at an area hospital, where he is listed in stable condition, before going home.
Several hundred people gathered in the search for Scotty Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Many communities in Wisconsin and Minnesota sent first responders and search tools, like ATVs, a bloodhound search team, and the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter.
After volunteers were sent home Tuesday night, sheriff's deputies and assisting agencies continued their search with heat-sensing equipment in the woods east of Prescott, Wis.
The sheriff thanked the community and volunteers "for their overwhelming support."
As a reward for Moser's dog's role in the search, deputies gave Autumn a couple of sandwiches.