2 missing children rescued with dog by their side - WSMV Channel 4

2 missing children rescued with dog by their side

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Courtesy: Putnam County Rescue Squad Courtesy: Putnam County Rescue Squad
BAXTER, TN (WSMV) -

An all-out search for two boys in the dead of night had the best kind of ending you could ask for. The 12- and 15-year-olds had gone to play in the woods but got lost when it started to get dark.

The search effort drew first responders and volunteers from across Putnam County, but a single piece of technology saved the day.

When it mattered most, rescuers turned to something to see what the human eye cannot.

Few people know the terrain in the quiet corner of Putnam County quite like Alan Brown.

"It goes for miles and miles," Brown said.

Brown grew up around Elmore Town Road and used to wander the woods that line a creek bed. The very same thing landed the two boys in trouble.

"Got turned around, got lost, is what happened. And they didn't have flashlight. Got wet," said Charlie Tollison, with Putnam County EMA.

As night fell around 7 p.m., rescuers received the call, which sparked an enormous response from agencies across the county.

With the use of canines, police tracked a scent in the woods by using some clothes the parents had of the missing children.

Searchers soon called for even more backup, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol took to the sky with thermal imaging technology, picking up on any sign of heat and any sign of the boys.

"The THP helicopter was the lifesaver last night, period, because they found him. It still took us an hour from the time they found them to get to them. That's how rough it was, rough terrain to get them," Tollison said.

Once the highway patrol pinpointed the boys' location, Brown led rescuers on ATVs directly to them, and they were found with their dog by their side.

"No shirt, no shoes. They had took them off because they were soaking wet, and they were cold and they said they had just set down and was waiting," Brown said.

The THP helicopter landed in a nearby field and flew the boys directly to medics and a happy reunion with their family. They continue to recover at home.

And, as the creek continues to flow, the man who knows it at both its best and worst seems thankful the rescue ended the way that it did.

"If it would have been any colder, it would've been even worse," Brown said.

Family of the boys did not wish to speak with reporters, so we don't know the children's names or whether they happen to be brothers or just friends.

We do know of the 20 or so people who helped in the rescue last night, at least a dozen - including Brown - were volunteers.

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