UPDATE: Missing Toddler in Cheboygan County Found

After a nearly 8 hour search Mason Rhinehart is safe. The 2-year-old got lost in Cheboygan County.

Search crews canvassed the woods for hours Sunday after the toddler wandered away from family on a camping trip. He was found safe last night just behind a saw mill in Aloha Township.

He walked almost a mile and a half  in bare feet; wearing nothing but a t-shirt and diaper.

The effort of search crews to get the word out about the missing boy ended with the best possible outcome. 

Sheriff Dale Claremont had his department along with search and rescue teams. He got a call from a family camping, saying Rhinehart disappeared. “They all thought the other one was watching the little guy and a hour had passed before they realized he was gone,” said Claremont.

And as temperatures dropped down into the sixties and darkness approached, crews worried about Rhinehart.

An emergency call out to neighbors from “A Child is Missing” brought many people out wanting to help.

Samantha Brown lives at the Sawmill property in Aloha Twp. and she saysRhinehartt was found just behind the property, on state land. He was deep in the woods, but had he walked much more, he would have reached the road. The call came at dinner time, and the family decided to get on their ORV’s and help the search.

“It explained there was a 2-year-old boy missing he had a blue shirt and a diaper on. he heard some cracking and knelt down and realized he saw blue and said oh that’s the kid. He called out “hey buddy” and Mason started crying and came running to Uncle Doug. He picked him up and he immediately stopped crying,” said Brown.

“The woods here are very thick there’s a lot of thorns and bugs there’s a lot of coyotes bears skunks and raccoons. There are a lot of animals. He’d been in danger if we was here overnight,” said Brown

The Sheriff says despite lots of bug bites… Mason is okay. 

 
“O
nce we got him back to the mobile command unit we put him on a horse and that opened him right up and then he was eating cupcakes left and right he was great,” said Claremont.

The Sheriff reminds people when there is an active search and you want to help, it’s important to work with police.

When search dogs are out they pick up is the most recent scent — and interference can cause confusion in the search.