Update: Missing Magoffin County toddler found dehydrated, but alive

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MAGOFFIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - 2:10 p.m., 5/15

Kenneth Howard was found alive and in good shape after several days outside alone. Credit: Ritter Mortimer (Salyersville Independent and Your News Today)

Wednesday afternoon we learned from rescue crews Kenneth Howard was found alive.

Police say he was found just before 2 p.m. in the area of a strip mine in Floyd County, which is on the border of Magoffin County.

A helicopter took the 22-month-year-old to a pediatric trauma center. We are told Kenneth is in "really good shape" considering he has been outside by himself since Sunday night.

According to the Magoffin County Sheriff's Office, Kenneth is being treated for dehydration.

This case remains under investigation.

12:15 p.m., 5/15
We have an updated description of Kenneth Howard, who went missing Sunday evening.

The 22-month-old boy was last seen wearing a gray Avengers t-shirt and red sweatpants with a blue stripe down the side. He has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Search teams are now looking near a strip mine in Floyd County, less than a mile away from the family's home.

Emergency Management officials tell us they are still searching a half-mile radius around Kenneth's home. They are not searching outside that area because a toddler would not be able to walk that terrain.

The search may be suspended again Wednesday evening if emergency management teams do not find anything, but community members, family and Kentucky State Police will keep looking.

10:30 a.m., 5/15
Kentucky State Police is bringing in horses to continue the search for a missing Magoffin County toddler.

Anyone who wants to help search is welcome. Police are not turning any volunteers away.

Family tells us 22-month-old Kenneth Howard was home with his mother and father on Mother's Day evening when he went missing.

We are told Kenneth's mother was at the hospital Tuesday while crews searched for her son. She was treated for dehydration and is back home resting.

This is the third day of the search. We will update this throughout the day.

10:15 p.m., 5/14
Search teams officially suspended their search Monday night around 6:30 p.m., but resumed Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, dozens of search teams left no stones unturned.

Kenneth Howard disappeared Mothers' Day evening and has not been seen since.

More than 50 hours after Kenneth was reported missing, search crews are not giving up hope.

Bloodhounds are part of eight different K9 search teams combing through the area.

They are using the scent from Kenneth's belongings to hopefully find the 22-month-old boy.

"We had used all of our resources that we were aware of yesterday. Our local emergency management coordinator called me this morning and he had come up with some extra dog teams and some other SAR, search and rescue teams", said Carter Conley, who is the Chief of the Magoffin County Search and Rescue.

Like many of the people out searching, Robert Hollan is volunteering his time.

He says finding this boy is personal.

"I come out, you know, because I have grandkids of my own", said Hollan, who is a volunteer from Johnson County. "And it's in my heart to get out here and help look because if it was one of my kids, I'd want somebody to help me too."

Carter Conley is leading the search.

He says crews are doubling the search radius from where teams were Monday.

"We have extended now to about a mile out from the area here to clear the ridgeline and some places, a strip-mine", said Conley.

More than 50 hours missing, crews certainly feel a sense of urgency finding the boy before it's too late.

"Hopefully we've cleared that area he's not in", said Conley. "And so it's just day by day getting people back. Of course, we're now going into our third day. You know, dogs get tired and people have to work."

Volunteers are not losing their feeling of hope that Kenneth Howard will be found alive.

"I hope there is, that we can find him or somebody can find him on the road or whatever", said Hollan. "Maybe somebody just picked him up, you know. You just never know."

At this point, investigators are urging anyone with information to come forward.

"Don't hesitate", said Conley. "If you think you might have spotted this child anywhere, don't hesitate to call the local state police."

Search teams ended their search Tuesday evening around 10 p.m.

They will be back out Wednesday morning to continue searching.

For more on the original story, click here.

WYMT also talked with the missing toddler's father who is now offering a reward for information that will help lead to Kenneth. For more on that story, click here.

Our sister station, WKYT, attended a candlelight vigil being held where people prayed for Kenneth and for his family.

People gathered at two separate vigils to pray for 22-month-old Kenneth Howard.

A big crowd came out to Ramey Memorial Park in Salyersville.

The community still hopes the missing toddler will be found safe.

People at another vigil in Paintsville say they are with the family.

"I know the pain I feel inside. I just can't even imagine to begin how they're feeling right now", said one person attending the vigil.

Pastors at one vigil Tuesday night urged people to pray for Kenneth every hour on the hour until he's found.

For more on the story about the vigils held for the Howard family, click here.


Kenneth Howard was found alive and in good shape after several days outside alone. Credit: Ritter Mortimer (Salyersville Independent and Your News Today)


 
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