Missing Toddler Kenneth Howard Found Alive in Kentucky, Say Officials

May 15, 2019 Updated: May 15, 2019

A 22-month-old boy was found alive days after he disappeared from his eastern Kentucky home, according to officials.

Kenneth Howard was found near a 50-foot cliff along Raccoon Road in the Hueysville area, Magoffin Rescue Squad Director Carter Conley told WSAZ.

The Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office said on May 15 that it is “happy to confirm the reports that Kenneth Howard has been FOUND !!!”

“According to Captain Carter Conley of the Magoffin Co Rescue Squad, he is alive, he is being attended by medics for dehydration, but is in remarkably good condition. Thanks to all who prayed, searched and helped in any way!! This is the best news ever !!!” a Facebook post from the office read.

Rescue crews heard crying and saw Kenneth. They used a basket to get to the boy, it was reported.

Kenneth was located about 1,755 feet from home on an old mine’s property. Family members said that he may have walked out of the back door of the home, the report said.

Police said that other than some dehydration, the boy is fine.

A helicopter was dispatched to fly him to a trauma center.

Trooper William Petry of the state police told People magazine that the child’s father told officials that he was in the front yard with the child, who then went behind the house.

When he went behind the house, Kenneth was gone.

“It’s just like he disappeared. No sign, no nothing,” his father, Elden Howard, was quoted by WKYT as saying. “That’s the reason [I’ve] started to think, if we can’t find him, somebody’s picked him up.”

Elden also offered a $5,000 reward for the boy.

“I would just like to see him come home safe,” he told WYMT. “I guess it’s adrenaline. I can’t rest, can’t eat. I’ve ate one bologna sandwich since Sunday.”

“She’s in pretty bad shape too, she’d tore all to pieces. It’s just not knowing what to do. We’ve searched everywhere we can think of they’ve had dog teams in here, nothing’s showing up,” he said of his wife.

Missing Children

There were 464,324 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2017, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2016, there were 465,676 entries.

“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted.

In 2017, the center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 27,000 missing children. In those cases, 91 percent were endangered runaways, and 5 percent were family abductions.

About one in seven children reported missing to the center in 2017 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.