Crime

Missing Toddler Found Alive, Hiding In Blackberry Bush (Photos)

| by David Bonner

A 2-year-old Oregon boy who went missing has been found alive.

River Schomaker was reported missing on Feb. 18, when his mother checked his room at 6 a.m. and discovered that he was not there, the Daily Mail reports.

A massive hanhunt was launched involving local police, a canine unit, FBI agents and about 50 volunteers. Six hours later, River was found by handler Becky Irving and her dog, Ava, only two blocks from home in a blackberry bush.

He was cold and shaking, according to Portland Police Sgt. Jeff Helfrich. "He was very distraught during the ordeal," he explained. "It brought a tear to my eye because he was alive, we found him, that's a very big deal to find a child alive like that, because the [longer] these [hunts] go on, the more things can take different turns."

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The reaction of River's mother, Hollian Markusen, was captured by Oregon Live. "I'm pretty beside myself. ... My son was lost. My beautiful, 2-year-old boy who've I've never been away from for more than a couple of hours his entire life."

The father, Aaron Schomaker, expressed his gratitude to the volunteers and law enforcement personnel who helped rescue his son. A professional bartender, he explained that he arrived home at 5 a.m., and was awakened an hour later by his wife's screams, after she realized that their son was missing.

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Aaron believes that River wandered out through a ground-floor door, which is what police also suspect. "This is a great reminder for all parents," said Sgt. Helfrich. "Make sure you have child safety locks on your doors and if you have adventurous kids, make sure you take care of those."

Upon being found in the bushes, River was immediately taken to the hospital where he was treated for exposure and minor scratches.  

According to police, the Oregon Department of Human Services has been notified as a matter of procedure, but no charges have been brought against the boy's parents.

Sources: Daily Mail, Oregon Live / Photo credit: PlantVillage, KOIN via Daily Mail

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