M.C. Sheriff’s Office Confirms Missing Toddler in Heppner Found Safe


The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a searcher Sunday morning, June 9, found the boy who went missing the night before in Heppner.

The sheriff’s office in a statement reported a searcher on a four-wheeler at about 8:20 a.m. found the 2 1/2-year-old boy, who was checked at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Heppner, then reunited with his family. He had a few scrapes but otherwise was unhurt, and he will be under observation at the hospital for a while to make sure there are no other issues.

Morrow County Sheriff John Bowles said the search began Saturday night, June 8, after the boy did not return home with his siblings from the area above Pioneer Memorial. Bowles said the parents began searching for the child at about 8:30 p.m., then called the sheriff’s office at 9:47 p.m. to report he was missing.

“We have had a search and rescue going since then,” the sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office, its search and rescue unit and county emergency management are part of the effort, he said, along with the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, its search and rescue and emergency management operations. K-9 teams also participated, Life Flight provided a helicopter to help search with a spotlight during the night and Two Bears Air, a rescue helicopter out of Montana, showed up to assist with infrared cameras.

Rep. Greg Smith, of Heppner, at approximately 3:45 a.m. posted a call for help on Facebook to find the child.

The sheriff’s office in its update June 9 estimated about 100 volunteers showed up to help find the toddler, and others came to provide food for the searchers.

“There was a family in need,” according to the sheriff’s office, “and our agencies, friends and neighbors showed up to do whatever was needed.”


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