2-year-old Boy With Autism Goes Missing, Then Police Follow Paw Prints to Find Him

August 29, 2019 Updated: September 3, 2019

It was a family’s worst nightmare. When dad William Anthony David Odom left his house in Saucier, Mississippi, at 6:30 a.m. to go to work, he saw his son “lying down in his bed.” But not long after, when his wife, Chelsea Noble, woke up, she couldn’t find their son in the house.

To make things even scarier, little William Odom has autism and was only 2 years old at the time. For the rest of the morning, this distraught mom and her relatives desperately searched for the boy.

What no one noticed during this time was that the boy’s beloved dog Jezebel had also gone missing.

Illustration – Public Domain Pictures | Tammy Sue

No one knew where William could have gone. His uncle Eary Murray told the Biloxi Sun Herald that after scanning the property, “my first thought was that he went into the woods or into the river by himself.” Murray looked all around but couldn’t find the toddler. Finally, at 10:30 a.m., they called 911 to file a missing-child report.

Meanwhile, the Harrison County police department set up a massive search party to find the boy, which consisted of several dozen officers, some on ATVs riding through the nearby De Soto National Forest, and even a helicopter. But there was still no sign of the missing child.

After several hours, family members were severely panicked. Meanwhile, police found some tiny footprints that seemed to be just the size of William’s little feet. As Sheriff Peterson told the Sun Herald, “every time we found his footprint, we found the dog footprint right beside him. So the dog traveled with him all day.”

Blake Carroll, a 10-year-old elementary school student, had just been let off the bus and was on his way home. After the bus pulled away, the boy heard the distant sound of a car horn honking. As he moved toward the sound, which was coming from the woods, there was an abandoned truck with a dog barking and running around it.

It was Jezebel, and little William Odom had ended up locked inside the truck, seemingly not knowing how to get out. Thankfully, Blake Carroll’s uncle was nearby, and he was able to run and get him to help. While the doors were locked, the window was cracked enough for Carroll’s uncle to reach inside and unlock the doors.

When police recovered the boy, “the dog was still circling the truck and scratching the truck,” Sheriff Peterson told Inside Edition. Little William Odom was suffering a bit from dehydration and some scratches from walking through the forest. “I gave him a Slim Jim and a Gatorade and he sucked them both down,” the sheriff explained to the Biloxi Sun Herald.

The police returned the boy to his parents, who were incredibly emotional and happy that he’d been found. “They got my baby. That’s all the matters,” Chelsea Noble told Inside Edition. The police also recovered Jezebel and reunited the faithful dog with her family.

While no one knows how much longer little Odom would have been stuck in the woods if it weren’t for being discovered by student Blake Carroll, Jezebel’s tracks would have eventually led police to him.

A touching story that shows that when you have a dog, you are never truly alone no matter where you go.