A 'Faint Whimpering' from the Sewers Halted a Weeklong Search for an 8-Year-Old Boy


An 8-year-old child who disappeared on June 17 was found Saturday in a decidedly unusual location.

According to The U.S. Sun, the boy was identified only as Joe. He was reportedly in his parents’ front yard in Oldenburg, Germany, before he went missing.

Emergency services quickly launched a search for the boy “across the country,” but they were unable to locate him for over a week.

On Saturday, a citizen contacted the police after hearing a “faint whimpering sound” coming from a sewer about 20 meters from the family’s home, the Sun reported.

Rescue crews immediately made their way to the scene and lifted a manhole cover to find Joe trapped in the sewer.

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A firefighter was lowered into the sewer using a winch, and he was able to rescue the boy and bring him out of the sewer.

“I saw how the boy was carefully pulled out of the hole, a helper calmed him down,” an eyewitness told the Sun. “I didn’t know it was Joe. He looked unharmed. I can’t believe he was in there and alive.”

Another neighbor who was not named said it would have been easy to miss the boy’s whimpers.

“It was very fortunate that he was heard — a lot of cars pass through here and the noise level is higher there,” the neighbor said.

Do you consider this story a miracle?

Moments like this one remind us of the omnipotence of God. When a week went by without the boy being located, his family certainly must have started to fear the worst.

Nonetheless, the Lord’s protection was over Joe, and He was able to use an unsuspecting passerby to help get the boy back to his family.

Following his rescue, Joe was taken to the hospital, where he was recovering as of Monday.

“The boy was hypothermic, but responsive,” police spokesman Stephan Klatte said according to the Sun. “He has no major injuries, there was no danger to his life.”

Police said they are still investigating how Joe got into the sewer, as well as how he survived in it for over seven days. Retired emergency doctor Peter Sefrin said a number of factors could have contributed to his survival.

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“At these temperatures, the heat is an important factor,” Sefrin said. “But in the canal, it is naturally cooler. Humans can survive a good three days without water and food. That’s no problem.

“We know that people who were buried survived in caves from dripping condensation water. Maybe that was the case here too.”

Police chief Johann Kuehme also made sure to highlight the important role the public played in finding Joe.

“Thanks to a tip from the public, we were able to find Joe in a sewer system,” Kuehme said. “The most important thing is that he is alive and was immediately taken to a hospital where he is in good hands. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.”

With the help of God’s provision, a concerned citizen and a dedicated response team, a family was reunited with their precious child. It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love for His people.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.