Boy's father thanks community for search efforts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boy's father thanks community for search efforts

January 27, 2007

Worth County -- It was a search that brought out hundreds, and left a family terrified for hours. A two-year old Worth County boy who went missing Friday Night is now safe at home.

Hunter Nixon wandered away from his Moree Lane home a little before six Friday evening. Father Darin Nixon says Hunter was lost all alone in the cold last night until about 10:30 p.m.

The family called the Worth County Sheriff's office, and several law enforcement agencies and hundreds of searchers turned out to look for the boy. Hunter's father says he's thankful for the community's support, he loves his children very much, and what happened that night was an accident.

As it got colder that January night, more and more searchers showed up to find two-year-old Hunter Nixon.

Law enforcement agencies from eight nearby counties, and dozens of concerned citizens came to help. Support father Darin Nixon is thankful for.

"All the people who came out to help, it was just overwhelming. From the bottom of my heart I appreciate all the help. It's too much to say," said Nixon.

Too many emotions for a father to handle, knowing that because of these complete strangers his son Hunter was found. He and Hunter's mother, Kay Parker, realized the boy was missing around six last night, both thinking the other had their son. Finding the boy is a task Nixon says he couldn't do alone.

"We went to the back and all the brush back there in the trees it's real hard to see, especially with him being so short. We was calling his name out, hollering, and couldn't ever get no response. It was frightening, very very frightening," said Nixon.

But with all the searchers on the scene, people were able to split up and cover more ground.

"We broke up into teams. We had about 14 teams, some had six to ten people per team," said Deputy EMA and Asst. Fire Chief Jason Brooks.

One of those teams found Hunter walking near an abandoned home just a half a mile away from home. That walk away from home is one Nixon says he never meant for his son to take.

"It's something that I will never let happen again. I guarantee that. We've been wanting to get a fence out here a long time, but financially it's hard," said Nixon.

"It's my family. I love them dearly. I would never want this to happen to anybody. It happens all the time, and sometimes it's bad news, and I'm grateful it was not for us."

Nixon says his son's safe recovery is thanks to community members who braved a cold winter night to help a family in need.

The family says many of the volunteers came out after WALB broadcast for people to help find the missing boy.

Right after Hunter was found last night he was taken to Phoebe for a check up. His father says his face was a little wind-chapped and he had a few minor scratches and bruises.

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