A 10-year old Hackleburg boy with Down syndrome is safe tonight after spending more than 18 hours lost in the woods near his home.
Hackleburg is a small town, and when news that Kyle Camp had gone missing spread, hundreds of people came out to volunteer for the rescue effort that went through the night.
Two volunteer searchers found Kyle huddled with his four puppies about half a mile from his home around 9:30 a.m.
Kyle was last seen Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. watching TV. When his family realized he was missing, they searched for him themselves then called for help around 7 p.m.
Searchers knew Kyle couldn't have gone far. So they set up a perimeter about a mile or mile and a half from his home off Highway 48.
The Marion County Sheriff's Department, Hackleburg police force, surrounding fire departments and the Cullman State Trooper helicopter assisted in the search. At one point, an estimated 150 volunteers were helping look for the boy.
They searched all through the night and it wasn't until late Wednesday morning that they finally found some hope. Two volunteers who didn't even know the family found Kyle huddled in a creek with his puppies. Jamie Swinney is one of the searchers who found Kyle around 9:30 a.m.
"I heard the dogs barking again and followed him down there and started hollering for the puppies and I hollered for him and he hollered back. He was in the creek about a half a mile over the ridge," Swinney said.
Swinney said he volunteered to help because he has kids of his own and that made being part of the reunion even sweeter.
"The main thing was getting him to his dad. That's where I wanted to get him to was to his dad. When I found him I asked if he was alright and he said yeah, he said he just wanted to go home," Swinney said.
Kyle was wet and wasn't wearing any shoes, but officials believe the four puppies found with him kept him warm through the night.
As Kyle was being treated for minor scrapes and bruises at a hospital in Hamilton, his brother Chris Bailey stopped to thank the friends and perfect strangers who helped bring Kyle home.
"Thank you, thank you so much. I had people from work, as many people as I could get together. Just thank you, it's amazing we could all come together like this," Bailey said.
"It was amazing how many people came together to look, because we couldn't have gotten it all on our own. It's just amazing the community is that close to each other," Bailey added.
Another rescue searcher said the turnout of volunteers didn't surprise him.
"It actually shows how great the community is. Everybody can pull together and come as one just to make sure one is found, I mean the community is great. I love Hackleburg," Joshua James said.
After being treated for his minor scrapes and bruises, Kyle is expected to be back home with his family tonight.
Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved. WAFF contributed to this report.
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