Lifestyle & Human Interest

3-Year-Old Found 'In A State of Shock' after Wandering in Stormy Montana Wilderness for Two Days


On June 3, a 3-year-old boy named Ryker Webb was playing in his backyard near Bull Lake, Montana, with the family dog when he disappeared.

A massive search was launched for the little boy, who was described as having red hair and blue eyes.

“In addition to a steady presence of ground searchers and ATVs, several drones and dog teams were able to deploy following the initial report, along with a boat unit on the lake,” Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Montana shared on Facebook. “Two Bear Air initiated their response but had to turn back due to poor weather moving in.

“On 06/04 two Montana Air National Guard helicopters and drones from Flathead County and Spokane Police were able to respond, in addition to more dog teams and continued ground and ATV searching.

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“It was extremely difficult to get the additional air assets into the Bull Lake valley due to very poor weather conditions which consisted of rain, low visibility, and low ceiling. These resources continued to monitor weather for additional flight openings. The dense vegetation in the area proved to be extremely difficult to search.

“A Code Red Alert was sent out to all neighbors in the vicinity of the point last seen, asking that they search their own properties and structures.

“A missing person report was disseminated nationwide.”

On Sunday, while a group of 53 was out searching for the little boy, a couple heard a whimpering noise coming from a shed in the woods, 2.4 miles from his home, according to News Nation Now.

They found the little boy in the shed, alive and “in good spirits and apparently healthy, although hungry, thirsty, and cold,” the Facebook post said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short told News Nation Now that he thinks the young boy had been in the shed the whole time, after seeking shelter from a thunderstorm that rolled in.

“I truly believe that he took cover in that shed from Friday evening until he was found on Sunday,” Short said.

He also said that despite being healthy in general, the boy was “in a state of shock” when found — and the photo of him shortly after being found certainly supports that.

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According to WLS-TV, the boy was taken to a local hospital by a Bull Lake Volunteer Ambulance crew and is expected to be fine.

The search was truly a community effort, with dozens of agencies responding to help find the missing child. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office named all the responding groups in a thank-you note on their post.

“Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, David Thompson Search and Rescue, Bull Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Bull Lake Volunteer Ambulance, Flathead County SAR, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane PD, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, North Valley SAR, Two Bear Air, Montana Air National Guard, Libby Volunteer Fire Department, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the large group of experienced outdoorsmen and families who responded from Sanders County,” they wrote.

“Additionally, thanks to Malmstrom AFB, Fairchild AFB, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for attempting to respond with additional aircraft. Thank you to the Halfway House, Stillwater Christian Church, Rosauers, and many others for the meals and support provided.”

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