U.P. Breaking News Bulletin: 4-27-18 – 3 a.m. ET
Happiness never left a family farm in Rudyard, MI – however the Kowalski family had some harrowing times Friday night when their 11-year-old non-verbal autistic son disappeared – Searchers found him over three hours later – cold but OK in unoccupied open cabin
By Greg Peterson
U.P. Breaking News
Owner, News Director
(Rudyard, MI) – When a child goes missing – especially at dark – its all hands on deck.
A Friday night search in Chippewa County for a missing 11-year-old non-verbal autistic boy ended successfully when the boy was found in a remote unoccupied cabin in the Rudyard area.
The boy was first noticed missing about 7 p.m. Friday night.
A short time later, Stephanie Kowalski notified 911 that her son Samuel had apparently wandered away from their farmhouse – as officials were given addresses on W. 20 Mile Road and S. Hantz Road.
Kowalski’s Facebook page states she is a “Catholic homeschooling mother. ” Numerous children can be seen in photos have a great time at the farm.
The boy was only wearing a sports team shirt and pajama bottoms with blue sharks – and boots.
“They live on a large farm and they have checked all of the normal places for him,” a dispatcher radioed responding officers.
The three-hour search ended about 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday night, April 27, 2018.
“Sounds like they got him,” said an searcher from Pellston, MI over the police radios – noting they would refuel and head home (sounded like an aircraft/chopper but can’t confirm.
“They got him,” repeated an officer on the ground in confirmation.
“Good job guys,” said the dispatcher.
After the boy returned home to anxious relatives, Kinross EMS paramedics were called as a precaution to assess the youngster – who was cold but seemed no worse for the wear.
However, it started with concerned voices and reported to Chippewa County 911 at about 7:50 p.m. ET Friday night.
“We have a missing 11-year-old down in the Rudyard area,” said one officer to another.
Looking for tracks in the snow, an officer told others that “the boot size is an adult size 6” and “the brand (of boots) is Bogs.” The child has non-verbal autism and was not wearing a winter coat.
“The more eyes we have out looking – that would be good,” said a Michigan State Police trooper to an U.S. Border Patrol agent.
The search, that included tracking dogs, was centered in and around 20 Mile Road.
In a very quick example of organization, a fairly large search force was quickly garnered and officials plotted on maps which areas to search including looking for tracks in the snow and checking ponds, deer blinds, and even a small cabin.
The owner offered to check the cabin and deer blinds for the boy. One officer noted he was looking for a place to cross a “beaver dam channel”
An officer said he “checked a deer blind in the middle of the field.”
“They found some tracks down by the river here,” noted one police officer while searching.
“This sounds pretty credible this could be the child’s tracks,” an officer just down the street from the home. He radioed that message to the search leaders.
Ultimately the boy was found in one of the cabins – and officers on ATVs and vehicles went to the cabin to bring him home.
“If you can get that ATV and that sled to us, that would be good – we’re at that cabin,” said an officer.
“That’s negative on EMS,” said an officer, noting the child was cold but fine. “We’ll make sure he is blanketed up good … and get him out of here.”
Among those assisting in the search were the U.S. Border Patrol, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police Soo Post and many other agencies and volunteers.