LOCAL NEWS

Memorial Day weekend search for a missing 7-year-old ends with reunion with family

May 29, 2022, 6:42 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:31 pm

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah — Deputies with the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office started their weekend off with a 13-hour overnight search for a 7-year-old boy.

“It was kind of like a needle in a haystack in the dark,” said Shad Shelley, Uintah County search and rescue commander.

A 7-year-old boy went missing Friday night after he was last seen on his motorcycle in the Dyer Park Area.

“Families go through many emotions when they have a missing child like that they always play the worst-case scenario through their minds,” Shelley said.

That scenario was on repeat during the 13-hour search.

“It was such a dark thick night that we just had a lot of challenges in the area that night,” Shelley said.

The trees and brush were so dense the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter could not even pick up heat signatures.

“We knew we were trying to beat a storm, so we were trying to get as many people on the ground as possible,” Shelley said.

Dozens of volunteers worked throughout the night, and finally, on Saturday morning, crews found footprints about 2 miles from the motorcycle. That’s when it was clear the boy was walking in circles.

“We had formed a line, and they were walking through the brush, and at the very end, a guy ended up seeing a spot of red which happened to be his coat,” Shelley said.

The 7-year-old was tucked up against a rock. He still had his motorcycle helmet on because he couldn’t get it off on his own.

“Thirteen hours he would have been very confused, especially with that helmet on his vision was very limited, and his hearing was very limited,” Shelley said.

KSL TV exclusive video shows the emotional reunion of the boy with his parents.

“It’s a unique feeling that’s why we do it, bring those kids back to their family,” Shelley said.

Uintah County Search and Rescue say they are grateful for all agencies that helped get this boy home. Including the Department of Public Safety, Classic Lifeguard, law enforcement officers from the U.S Forest Service, BLM, and DNR, and search and rescue teams from Uintah County, Duchesne County, Wasatch County and Moffat County, Colorado.

There were also many other resources on standby, ready and willing to assist in the search.

Crews are pleading for everyone to stay safe and be prepared. Here are some tips and a way to donate to your local search and rescue crews.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

It has been six weeks since pet owner Scott Donnachie has seen his beloved cat George....

Ashley Moser

St. George police warns of scam targeting pet owners looking for missing animal

It has been six weeks since pet owner Scott Donnachie has seen his beloved cat George. When his 5-year-old tabby cat went missing, he went straight to social media for help.

8 hours ago

Student loan confusion...

Matt Gephardt

Frustrated student-loan borrowers brace for payments to resume, but they have repayment options

People with student debt have spent the last several years in a political tug-of-war so it's hard to figure out what is and isn't happening. KSL Investigates hopes to answer those questions.

8 hours ago

Mascot Mania at Herriman High School...

Alex Cabrero

Mascot Mania wrestling event turns kids into superheroes

Hitting a guy on the head with a guitar sure looked like a lot of fun. The crowd that gathered at Herriman High School Wednesday night was there to see it happen.

9 hours ago

Crews work on flood mitigation in Eagle Mountain...

Brittany Tait

Eagle Mountain’s project to reduce flooding threat

After an unseasonably rainy spring, certain neighborhoods in Eagle Mountain witnessed multiple floods. 

11 hours ago

Willard Bay spillway...

ADAM SMALL, KSLNewsRadio

Leonardo DiCaprio speaks up for Great Salt Lake

Just as he’s done for years, Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio is promoting awareness of a major environmental issue. This time around, his focus is on Great Salt Lake.

11 hours ago

Menstrual products...

Katija Stjepovic

Utah non-profit’s goal is to make menstrual products available for free at work

The Utah period project has been successful in making menstrual products available in places like public K-12 schools and higher education.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...

DAYS OF '47 RODEO

Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Memorial Day weekend search for a missing 7-year-old ends with reunion with family