It was a stroke of luck for searchers in Northwest Montana when a 3-year-old boy was found alive Sunday after he was lost for two days in the woods near his home in Troy.
Ryker Webb was reported missing Friday evening by a neighbor, who had heard his parents screaming for him for two hours.
“They were checking their entire property. They were yelling. I would assume they just decided to look on their own,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short on Wednesday.
As the hours ticked by, rain fell and temperatures dropped into the low 40s at night. A thunderstorm struck the area that evening, and rain continued through the weekend.
“It was truly a relief that it ended on Sunday and that we found him alive and well,” said Short.
Short believes Ryker may have hunkered down in the shed where he was found as he was listening to the wind and rain. He believes Ryker didn’t want to go outside. Short said statistically, when children go missing and find shelter, they will typically stay put.
“When I asked him if he wanted to go see mom and dad, he put his arms out and came right to me,” said Short.
As of now, authorities don't suspect foul play, and Child and Family Services has visited the home, Short said.
“We’re still looking into the ins and outs of why the delayed phone call, how he was able to wander off unsupervised. Those kinds of things,” said Short.
Fortunately, it was a happy ending and an amazing story of survival.
As the weather warms up and kids will be outside, Short wants to remind people to keep an eye on their children and to not hesitate to call law enforcement if a child goes missing.