Thursday, May 1, 2003

Toddler found safe after 4-hour search

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

STONELICK TOWNSHIP - A 2-year-old boy, reported missing Tuesday evening after his parents noticed he was no longer playing in a field near his home, was found safe about four hours later, officials said Wednesday.

The boy, Charles Stenger, of the 5700 block of Stonelick-Williams Corner Road, was found unharmed about 300 yards from the field.

He was asleep by a dry creek bed, Clermont County Sheriff A. J. "Tim" Rodenberg Jr. said.

The toddler's parents called 911 about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday when they couldn't find the boy, Rodenberg said.

Sheriff's deputies conducted their own search and questioned neighbors, but turned up no leads.

Searches of the heavily wooded area were conducted using dogs from the sheriff's K-9 unit and a helicopter from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department. Eight teams of seven officers each also searched the area.

Authorities from several agencies helped, including Owensville, Task Force 1, Miamiville and East Fork Search and Rescue, Rodenberg said.

The boy was found about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

"It was very hard to search that area at that hour," the sheriff said.

When the boy was found, a paramedic checked him out.

"He was fine. He was alert," the sheriff said. "He is now back at home with his family."


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