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When a two-year-old boy wandered from his central Minnesota home, it was the family dog (and her puppy) that helped lead rescuers to a cornfield a quarter-mile away.
A two-year-old Minnesota boy is safe and sound today, thanks to the Minnesota State Patrol’s helicopter outfitted with a camera that detects heat signatures – and, the boy’s loyal canine companion, an English Springer Spaniel named Ella Grace and her 12-week old puppy that didn’t leave his side, even as he wandered a quarter-mile from home.
The toddler son of Kaitlyn Bottem was outside the family’s home playing with three cousins ages 7, 11 and 12, when he wandered off at about 6:15 p.m., the boy’s grandfather, Rick Gertken, told the Star Tribune.
When the family were unable to find him and darkness began to fall, they contacted the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office who, along with several fire departments, two search and rescue Bloodhounds, about 200 volunteers, and a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter began searching for the missing boy.
Video from the State Patrol helicopter’s heat-seeking camera showed the moment the boy – and his loyal dog – were found in a neighboring cornfield.
In the video, Bella Grace can be seen circling the toddler and sitting by his side the entire time.
From their helicopter, State Patrol officers were able to direct rescuers on the ground to the boy’s exact location.
The police lieutenant said that Bella Grace’s movements near and around the boy “absolutely, for sure” played a major role in leading rescuers to the boy so quickly on the chilly autumn night.