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Missing 3-year-old boy found safe and alert in Madison County

Boy found after nearly 10-hour-long search
Posted at 4:49 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 23:18:41-04

MADISON COUNTY — A 3-year-old boy who walked away from home early Wednesday has been found safe and alert after a search that lasted nearly 10 hours, police said.

Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger said Abdul Agboola was found around 11:45 a.m. in a ditch along State Road 13 about a quarter-mile from his house.

"He seems to be in great condition," Mellinger said. "The outpouring of mutual aid today was incredible, and regardless of how many hours and how much effort you put in, you couldn't ask for a better ending."

Justin Harmeson, a 20-year-old emergency worker with Chesterfield EMS, said he was directing traffic when he heard the faint sound of a child crying. He looked over and saw the child's head peeking over the road.

"I ran over and as soon as I got to the child, he instantly picked his arms up and I grabbed him. I notified the officers who were right there at the intersection," Harmeson told WRTV's Kelsey Anderson.

When asked if he thought he was being hailed as a hero, Harmeson said everybody was there just to do a job.

"I really wouldn't say 'hero.' Everyone was here just to do a job and at the end of the day, it could have been anyone standing at that intersection. So, hero? I wouldn't call myself a hero," Harmeson said.

Interview with man who found 3-year-old

A long search

Home security video footage showed Abdul walking out of his home on Winton Place in the Springbook neighborhood around 1:46 a.m. The neighborhood is located off State Road 13 between Interstate 69 and Fortville.

“The video made it appear that the child woke up and was looking for family," Mellinger said. "Instead of looking in the house, he went out the front door.”

The boy was originally reported missing at 2:30 a.m., and several law enforcement agencies, multiple area fire departments and emergency management personnel are involved in the search, which began around 4 a.m. A Silver Alert was issued at 8:55 a.m.

Mellinger said during an 8 a.m. briefing that it was an "extremely dangerous situation." Authorities were concerned about Abdul because he was not dressed appropriately for the cold conditions early this morning.

An Indiana State Police helicopter and drones provided overhead views of the area for searchers, while dive teams searched nearby retention ponds. Hundreds of people were involved in the search, according to Indiana State Police.

Mellinger said Abdul will be interviewed Wednesday or Thursday. While he hopes the boy can provide some details, Mellinger conceded authorities might not know for sure how long Abdul was lying in the ditch along State Road 13.

Paramedics reported the boy's clothing was wet and his legs were cold, but he had no visible injuries, his body temperature was around 97.7 degrees and he only complained of being cold, Mellinger said. Medics transported him to Riley Children's Hospital for an examination.

Clarification: This story was updated to correct the boy's age, which authorities erroneously reported early Wednesdsay.

WRTV reporter Kelsey Anderson and photographer Shea Goodpaster contributed to this report.

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