A terrifying situation for a toddler’s dad quickly turned into relief when the missing two-year-old was found by a police dog Saturday.
The boy wandered away from the family vehicle in an isolated area south of Highway 1 in the hills above Campbell Creek around noon while his dad was geocaching in the area with the boy and his four-year-old brother.
The two-year-old was eating a snack in the family van when the dad and the four-year-old got out of the vehicle and walked about 15 feet away as part of the geocaching exercise – an activity similar to a scavenger hunt.
The dad kept an eye on the van but the toddler exited the opposite side and by the time his family returned, he was gone.
After searching frantically for several minutes, the man called police for help.
All available police cars were dispatched to the area, according to RCMP, including plainclothes officers, traffic patrol, members from the Kamloops rural office and even forensic identification officers.
An RCMP helicopter was also placed on standby as was the provincial Search and Rescue.
A Kamloops patrol officer and a police dog handler were the first to arrive on scene. The dog picked up the toddler’s track on a narrow trail cut into the hillside of a steep ravine.
Approximately one kilometre down the trail police found the boy unharmed and making his way back up the trail.
He told police he was out trying to find his dad.
The police helicopter, which had just lifted off from the airport, was called off as was the Search and Rescue unit.
This is the second time police dog Zak and his handler Const. Dave Lewis have found a missing child. He previously found a 21-month-old toddler who had wandered away from the parent’s home into the hills of Kenna Cartwright Park in January 2011.