PULASKI COUNTY (KTHV) - A 5-year-old boy from Pulaski County is resting safe and sound at home after disappearing for hours in the dark.
Dyson Stewart is okay; he's just a bit tired from staying up until almost 3:00 in the morning Thursday. At his home, he was out cold shortly after our THV 11 crew arrived. Even with THV 11 cameras rolling Thursday afternoon, there wasn't much anyone could do to wake him up.
"He's a tough little guy," his father Chris Stewart said.
His father said Dyson had a rough night.
"Just seemed very upset, scared, kind of overwhelmed, Nothing like this has ever happened to him," Stewart said.
Stewart added that while he and his wife were upstairs for about 15 minutes Wednesday night, Dyson took off, escaping through the doggie door. All of the doors at the house were locked at the time of his disappearance.
"Sheriff's brought their K-9 unit, and they got their scent directly out that way," Stewart said.
A search from above and on ground would go on for almost seven hours. Rescue dogs, the sheriff's office and more combed the dark woods behind Dyson's home.
"I mean neighbors that we didn't even know we're out searching," Stewart said.
Ultimately, a K-9 team found the boy at least a quarter mile from home.
"He said after we found him that he apparently followed some animal and went chasing after it into the woods," Stewart said.
It was some childhood curiosity, turning into a frightening experience for Dad.
"As the night continued to go on, minute by minute, we become more and more concerned," Stewart said, but with his son back home in a deep sleep, Stewart plans to step up his watch. "I'll really be a helicopter parent now."
He also wants to thank everyone who helped find his son.
"It was really an overwhelming response, and we're just extremely grateful that this amount of support helped," Stewart said.
Stewart said there were somewhere between 50 and 100 people out searching Wednesday and into Thursday morning. When THV 11 was there Thursday, one sheriff's deputy came back to check in.
Dyson had some minor scratches on his body when he was found, but there were no major injuries. As for the doggie door he used to escape, his dad has made some changes to secure it.