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Missing 2-year-old boy who walked away from his home in the middle of the night located sleeping in neighbor's car

Posted at 5:49 AM, Apr 22, 2019

GREEN, Ohio — A 2-year-old boy from Green who walked away from his home during the middle of the night Sunday has been found, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office.

The boy was found in a neighbor's garage sleeping inside a vehicle. The boy woke up and walked out of the car, authorities said. The boy appears to be fine, but EMS was checking him out for precaution.

Inspector Bill Holland said they are thankful this situation turned out the way it did.

"This is great news. This is a very happy ending to what could have been very tragic," Holland said.

With the cold temperatures outside, the Nimisila Reservoir located close to the family's home and steep ravines in the area, authorities said they were getting worried as the search progressed.

"This is the best possible outcome. Everyone who responded to help, we are very thankful," Holland said.

The boy was wearing shorts and a T-shirt Monday morning, which concerned officials of possible hypothermia because of the cold temperatures.

The boy was put to bed by his parents around 9 p.m. Sunday night. His parents went into his bedroom to check on him around 1:30 a.m., and the boy was gone from his bed and a door to the house was found open.

More than 100 law enforcement officials were on foot searching the area. The Ohio State Highway Patrol deployed a helicopter during the search.

Summit County was the first Ohio county to launch the "Take Me Home" program, which is a law enforcement database that includes photographs, disability descriptions, and emergency contacts. The program assists with rapid identification and helps reunite people who have trouble communicating with their families.

Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said there are more than 2,000 people entered into the system, including many kids with autism and adults with dementia.

"The law enforcement officer has access to the database that they can search by picture," Bevan Walsh said. "Let's say the child knows their first name, but nothing else. They can search by first name. They can search by city. There's a lot of different search characteristics to pretty quickly identify the child if they're in the database."

The program is free and families can enroll a loved one by filling out a form through the prosecutor's office.