missing toddler, ATV
Photo by Prestonsburg Fire Department

Kenneth Howard is not yet two years old, but he endured a terrifying ordeal this week. He wandered away from his front yard. Kenneth was last seen outside his home in Salyersville, Kentucky, which is in a rural area with rough, mountainous terrain. The missing toddler provoked a wide-spread search by fire fighters and volunteers. Numerous groups of dogs and their handlers did searches of the area Sunday night through Wednesday. Pikeville Emergency Management used thermal imaging drones to scan the area. Kentucky State Police deployed helicopters to assist in the search. The area was described as being dense with trees hills which made the search difficult.

Missing Toddler Found

Firefighters and volunteers took a break on Wednesday. That’s when one firefighter said he thought he heard cries, said Prestonsburg Fire Department Chief Michael Brown. “We all got quiet and started calling the child’s name, and at different times, sporadically, he would give us a cry and we had to try to pinpoint his location,” Brown said. “We got three or four cries from him, and two of the guys made their way back up the hill and he was sitting up at top of a little flat there.”

Kenneth was located after three days of being lost about 1,800 feet from the family’s home. He was sitting near a road used for logging or strip mining. He did not appear to be injured. Brown said he was “surprisingly” in good condition, adding, “A couple of us felt he was in better condition than we were after we made it up the hill.” The missing toddler was taken to the hospital and treated for dehydration.

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