Family dogs helped keep 6-year-old Ryle Smith warm and safe after he was lost in the woods near his home last Friday. Ryle was found after an intense 5 hour search in southwest Missouri. Temperatures dipped into the low 20s that evening.
Sheriff Ken Copeland said emergency officials from the Joplin, Seneca and the Redings Mill fire departments were involved in the search, in addition to the Newton County Rescue and Recovery team and the Newton County Sheriff’s Department.
Ryle Smith wandered off into the woods Friday night while following his two family dogs, Bella and Baxter. Ryle often played outside with the two large dogs as his guardians. Friday he said he followed his dogs into the woods and then became lost.
Authorities said the boy evidently became lost as night fell and he became disorientated. Several hours into the search a rescuer found young Ryle asleep in a ditch with his two dogs lying on top of him.
Ryles parents had reported him missing around 6 p.m. Friday when he did not return from playing outside.
When found Ryle had scrapes and cuts. he was missing his shoes and his clothes were torn but he was otherwise okay. He was taken to a hospital for observation and later released