A 22-month-old baby boy who went missing from his Kentucky home nearly three days ago has been discovered safe on the side of a cliff only a few hundred yards from his home, authorities said.
According to a tweet sent from Kentucky State Police, Kenneth Howard was discovered just before 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon near a strip mine. Emergency services took the 22-month-old boy to a local hospital to be examined and treated for dehydration.
Floyd County emergency personnel used dogs, ATVs, helicopters and drones with thermal cameras to search for the boy in the rugged terrain.
"Missing Child - FOUND! Just before 2PM today the child was found alive in the area of a strip mine in Floyd County which is on the boarder of Magoffin Co. The child has been transported by EMS to a medical facility, for examination and treatment if needed."
Crews were able to locate the boy after they could hear him crying. They found him on a 50-foot, steep cliffside, just 1,755 feet away from his home.
"It was a team effort," a Magoffin County Emergency Management official told WYMT. "We were guided there by God's hands."
A spokesman with the Kentucky State Police say there was no indication of foul play in the boy's disappearance.
Elden Howard, the boy's father, said he was overwhelmed with relief knowing his son was alive.
"Disbelief, for a while," Howard told the TV station. "'Til they told me they were sure it was him, and stuff, and I'd seen a picture. I said, 'that's my boy.' Tickled me to death. Best thing that ever happened to me in my life."
One official said he was surprised how far the 22-month-old toddler managed to get over difficult terrain.
"Over terrain, I would not, in fact I can't, even as a young man I don't think I'd even attempt it," said an official. "That child is a true Kentucky mountain boy."
The boy's father had offered a $5,000 reward for his child's safe return.
Photo: Kentucky State Police