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Saskatchewan toddler not reported missing for a day found in bush

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PELICAN NARROWS, Sask. - Mounties in northern Saskatchewan are investigating after a toddler disappeared for nearly 24 hours before being reported missing.

Pelican Narrows RCMP say an extended family member called Sunday at 1 p.m. and said the two-year-old boy hadn't been seen since 3 p.m. on Saturday. Police and community members launched a search for the child, who was soon found by a 17-year-old boy and 24-year-old man who had walked into the bush.

"The young gentlemen had heard basically through people in the community that this young person had gone missing and they took it upon their own accord to just begin looking around," Cpl. Doug McLaren said Tuesday.

"They found the young guy in a bushed area that, quite frankly, we're lucky that they found him."

McLaren said the toddler was into the bush "a little ways" and not on a path. The officer could not say how the child ended up there.

"I can't really speak to the mind of a two-year-old. He just wandered off and stopped where he stopped and that's where they found him."

The child was wearing only a T-shirt. He was taken to a health care centre in Pelican Narrows. McLaren said the child was covered in bug bites and was thirsty, but otherwise in good shape. He's now in the care of social services.

The Mountie could not say who was caring for the child when he vanished or why there was a delay in reporting his disappearance.

"Obviously those are things we're going to check into," said McLaren.

"We're happy that the young guy has been found, is in good health, and any investigation that happens with regards to how or why he ended up out there — and that we didn't hear about it for so long — will be found out through further investigation we hope."

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