Missing 4-year-old found unharmed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Missing 4-year-old found unharmed

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

August 3, 2008

TURNER COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Some frightening and tense hours for parents of a 4-year-old boy early Sunday morning.

Braxton Loper managed to walk out of the house around 2 a.m. and was missing for about 6 hours.

More than 100 volunteers and authorities combed the woods and fields, searching for the missing boy.

Four year old Braxton Loper slept with the horses overnight, the young boy had walked  about two miles away from his home.

"We had people with four wheelers, we had the area covered quick and we're just thankful that he was all right this morning," said Sheriff Randy Kendrick, Turner County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities and volunteers searched feverishly for the boy, his parents went to drop off his older brother when they returned home little Braxton was no where to be found.

"He was asleep when we left and so I was like he's probably in the bed with his brother, so he went in there, and we're hollering for him out the back door, and I knew then because he's scared of the dark, that's when I dialed 911," said Cindy Loper, Braxton's Mother.

"They walked around in the yard and looked for him for about four to five minutes and then they called us and we responded," Kendrick.

But between seven thirty and eight this morning they found him, safe and sound.

"Oh my God I mean, I guess it's like what they say a mother's worse nightmare come true, when the told me that the taught he might be in the pond that's when, and then five minutes later we got the call he was OK," said Loper. "Approximately a mile and a half, two miles from the residents where he had walked off from he had walked into a yard."

He walked into the yard and slept on the ground until morning.

"When we got him back he said momma I went night and I was like how'd you go night, he said I dug a hole in the ground just like Bubba and I went to sleep," said Loper. "He said I slept with the horses and I woke up and went and knocked on the man's door."

Braxton's parents said how he walked that far is a mystery.

"Everybody was just baffled at what he did because, I that's why I started thinking that somebody had to take him you know, but no he walked the whole two and a half miles and I asked him what he was doing he said I was looking for you momma," said Loper.

Worth, Tift, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas and Lee County officials helped in the search along with the Georgia state patrol and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

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