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Missing boy toy claw machine: 3-year-old found inside machine of bowling alley

A missing boy was found in a toy claw machine of a local bowling alley this week after mysteriously vanishing from his home. The 3-year-old boy was reported missing by his frantic mother of Lincoln, Nebraska, but was found only several hours later after a visitor at the bowling alley reported a young boy being stuck inside. AZ Central shares this bit of strange news this Wednesday, April 16, 2014, confirming that the boy was discovered unhurt and was even given one of the stuffed toys for dealing with the frightening ordeal.

A little boy is found inside a claw machine
Wikimedia Commons

Although it might sound unbelievable to many readers, the missing boy toy claw machine incident is no farce — a 3-year-old boy did indeed vanish from his Nebraska house this week, and was found that very same day in a nearby bowling alley’s toy dispenser. The child’s mother made an emergency call to police on Monday afternoon, saying that her son was gone from her apartment while she had been in the bathroom.

As police were busy canvassing the area, they received a report from a man in the area who said he had seen a boy matching the description of the unidentified 3-year-old, and that he was trapped inside a toy claw machine. Aside from extenuating circumstances, it is believed that the boy managed to tunnel his way inside the machine by fitting through the tiny prize hole.

"You would have to weave your way in and out, so he had to work pretty hard to get in there," confirmed Jim Lakey with VVS, the company that owns the popular claw machine. "It's kind of a rarity."

Apparently, the 3-year-old missing boy failed to notice all of the worried people that had gathered around the toy claw machine. He was too busy playing with the stuffed animals inside, and proceeding to drop them through the prize hole.

“He was just picking up stuffed animals and putting them down where they come out of," Rachell Hildreth, a bartender at Madsen's Bowling Alley and Billiards, told a local news station in her statement.

The NY Daily News added that despite this strange news story having some unanswered questions still being looked into by police (such as how the boy left the apartment and made it to the nearby bowling alley), the boy was retrieved safely and was unhurt. Of course, quarters weren’t needed to rescue the boy as the biggest prize that day — a worker for the toy machines arrived on the scene to open it and retrieve the 3-year-old child.

Following the incident, the boy was reunited with his worried mother. He even had the chance to keep one of the stuffed animals for his inquisitiveness and troubles.

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