Missing boy, 2, found after wandering from Lapeer County home

Authorities say MSP helicopter located heat signature in wooded area, finding the child 5 minutes into search

News Brief, 6/1/2021, 6 p.m. Update

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 2-year-old boy was found after he wandered away from home on Memorial Day in Lapeer County.

Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police were dispatched at about 9:36 p.m., May 31, to Fish Lake Road in Deerfield Township.

According to the sheriff’s office, the child’s 31-year-old father was supervising him while the 26-year-old mother was at work. The father had fallen asleep and awoken to an unlocked door. The child, who has autism, was last known to be wearing a diaper and no other clothing.

Authorities said the family dog was found on the porch with wet fur. The sheriff’s office dive team conducted a search of a pond in the back of the property while the search and rescue team started a search in the rural woods and fields surrounding the home.

An MSP helicopter arrived at about 11:49 p.m. to aid in the search.

According to state police, the agency’s Trooper 2 helicopter located a heat signature in the wooded area about half a mile from the home after searching for five minutes. The child was located at about 11:54 p.m. -- two hours after he was reported missing.

Authorities were directed to the area and found the boy unharmed.

“This incident is an example of the countless ways the eyes in the sky can assist officers working to keep our communities safe. Trooper 2 is equipped with state-of-the-art gear including Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR) Systems, which was used in this incident to locate the child by thermal imaging,” read a press release from MSP.

MORE: Lapeer County news

About the Author:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.