TRUMBULL — Many public safety professionals and volunteers from several communities had a hand in locating a 12-year-old Trumbull boy whose whereabouts were unknown for several hours Monday night, Clay County Emergency Manager Tim Lewis said in a social media posting.
With the boy missing and a winter storm in the forecast for Tuesday morning, the Trumbull fire department was paged Monday evening to begin a search. Assistance was requested from neighboring agencies, and help arrived from the Doniphan, Hastings Rural, Harvard and Giltner fire departments; the Nebraska State Patrol; the Adams and Hamilton county sheriff’s offices and the Hastings Police Department; and the general public.
Many citizens came to the Trumbull fire hall and were assigned to search teams. Searchers looked for the boy until a break in the case came just after midnight, when firefighters found a glove believed to belong to the boy.
Ten minutes later, firefighters found the boy at an abandoned farmhouse several miles from Trumbull. The boy voluntarily returned to town with the firefighters, where he was checked over at the fire hall and his mother took custody of him.
The boy, who has medical conditions, last was known to have been at home in Trumbull around 5 p.m. Monday. The initial call reporting him missing came to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Community support in the hours that followed included women from the community turning out to cook breakfast for the searchers, most of whom had missed supper and were running on empty.
A Nebraska Endangered Missing Advisory was issued at 11:04 p.m., with the target advisory area being the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C area in central Nebraska and the public being asked to call in with any relevant information. Once the boy was found safe, the advisory was canceled.
In a Facebook post in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Lewis had words of praise for everyone involved in the successful search operation.
“Thank you to each agency, each volunteer and our professional sheriff’s department for conducting this search and finding this boy before the weather came in and caused further problems,” he said. “Clay County has great people, and I love being part of this county.”
Employees at the county dispatch center had many assignments throughout the operation and did everything asked of them and more, Lewis said.
“Thank you, Clay County and our neighbors, for helping us get this child home safely,” he said.