Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/10/2019 (232 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BECKER, Minn. - A 6-year-old Minnesota boy who had been missing for hours was found safe early Wednesday after a volunteer used a drone with a thermal camera to help find the child in a dark cornfield more than a mile from his home.
The boy, named Ethan Haus, hadn't been seen since 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday when he got off a school bus with his siblings near Highway 25 in Becker and ran to play with the family dog, Remington, according to the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office. Becker is located about 45 miles (72 kilometres) northwest of Minneapolis.
The sheriff's office said in a news release that Ethan was found safe with his dog about 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday, about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) from his home. He was brought to a hospital to be checked and was cold but otherwise OK, authorities said. Temperatures in the area were in the low 40s (about 5 degrees Celsius) overnight Tuesday.
One of the more than 600 volunteers who helped search for the boy was a private drone operator who brought his drone with thermal imaging. The device targeted Ethan and the dog in the cornfield, sheriff's officials said. The boy and his dog were lying in the field when they were found.
"If not for that drone, I'm not sure we would have found him," Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott said.
WCCO-TV reports the drone pilot, Steve Fines, said that he'd never used a drone in a search operation before.
"It was a moment that was going to make his parents so happy, and vicariously we all felt that," Fines said.
A state patrol helicopter and another thermal imaging drone from the Big Lake Police Department were also used in the search.
Fines told The Associated Press he does thermal inspections and drone work as his business, and he just "had to go help" after the sheriff's office posted something about their search on Twitter. He said he worked with law enforcement to search in a grid pattern and had his drone in the air for more than two hours before the boy was found.
When asked if he would do the same thing again, he replied, "in a heartbeat."
This story has been corrected to show that the boy's name is Ethan, not Evan.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.