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Deputies return two small children home to safety


Howell County deputies returned two small children safely to their homes on Friday and Saturday afternoons in the areas of Peace Valley and Willow Springs.

Just before 1 p.m. Friday, deputies were dispatched to W highway in Peace Valley after a mother reported her 2-year-old child missing, said Howell County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Angela Conboy. The mother reportedly said her child was playing with a dog near the home and disappeared, and family members looked for the child for 10 minutes before calling law enforcement.

Deputies Jacob Hamby and Tessa Jens responded to the scene; Hamby arrived a short time after the call was placed and began to canvas the area in search of the toddler, starting where the child had last been seen, said Conboy. Hamby found the toddler in a field on County Road 3390, just west of the home.

At about 3:15 p.m. the next day, a concerned citizen called the Howell County Sheriff’s Office regarding a young boy wandering in the road on County Road 5120 in Willow Springs, Conboy shared.

Responding deputies found the child, who was dirty and did not communicate well, she added. After receiving information about the location of the boy’s possible home, deputies went there, and the child was identified and they learned he is 3 years old. The home was about a quarter of a mile away from where the boy was found.

As officers were arriving to the child’s home, said Conboy, the boy’s father and his girlfriend also arrived on scene, telling deputies they had been at work and gotten a call from the woman’s uncle, who had been watching the child. The uncle reportedly said he had taken a nap and woken to find the boy gone and the front door open.

Deputies returned the child safely to his father, said Conboy.

Both cases were forwarded to the 37th Judicial Circuit Howell County Children’s Division for review, Conboy noted.