Elmore County sheriff says child found safe ‘mighty fortunate’

Elmore County sheriff calls missing child found safe ‘mighty fortunate’

ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hours after he went missing, the family of a 3-year-old boy and Elmore County officials are breathing a sigh of relief. Zachary Rutherford was discovered safe Tuesday morning by search and rescue crews.

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin says around 7 p.m. Monday Zachary wandered off with his pet lab while his mom worked on her car in the driveway nearby. The dog eventually came back, but little Zachary was not with him.

Franklin said the child was discovered hours later in a massive search about 680 yards from his home.

Missing 3-year-old reunited with father (Source: Cajun Navy 2016 - Alabama)

“There was some dense woods and vegetation out there, trees, grass and briers, weeds and everything,” Franklin said. “He was able to meander about 680 yards from the house. You’ve got a situation out there. I’m sure there are snakes. I know out there you have coyotes.”

Other than scratches, Zachary is doing just fine and is back home with family, the sheriff said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies helped in the search, including those from Birmingham and Dallas County. Search dogs and an ALEA aviation unit also assisted in the search.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.