Missing boy kept warm by pet dogs

    11:50 AM, Jan 7, 2013   |    comments
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    NEWTON COUNTY, MO (CBS/KOAM) -- A missing boy is safe at home after search crews and volunteers in Newton County spread out to hunt for the 6-year-old.

    A day after being found 6-year-old Riley Smith plays video games with his twin brother and family. His parents say after hours of terrifying uncertainty Friday evening they are happy to have their son Riley home safe and sound. Riley's mom Holly says, "He said that we needed to leave the lights on from now on. We told him that there were so many lights, I mean our house was lit up, police officers out there."

    Riley had chased the puppy he received for Christmas and disappeared into the woods behind his parents house hours later hundreds of police, firefighters and volunteers from across the county arrived at their doorstep to join the search and six hours later the boy was found a mile from home with two dogs but without socks or shoes. Ken Copeland with the Newton County Sheriff's Office says, "He was extremely cold, he had gotten down into a brushy area and the dogs cuddled up to him and were able to keep him warm."

    The Smiths say words do not describe the feelings they felt when they heard their six year old son had been found here on Coyote Dr., they say they feel thankful that their dogs stayed with their child the entire time. Holly says, "The dogs kept him warm, when the ambulance and everything picked him up, he said because it was below freezing, I mean his feet were just ice cold, but the rest of his body was fine."

    Riley was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he was found, for a check. Sheriff Copeland says the success of finding riley is all thanks to the cooperation of the emergency response teams as well as volunteers. As a father and grandfather Copeland says he was elated to return Riley back home.

    Copeland says canine units from several county police departments and a state helicopter helped search.

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