Missing SW Michigan toddler found with dog by his side

WAVERLY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The hourslong search for a 2-year-old missing in Van Buren County is over.

Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott says the boy wandered away from home around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Van  Buren County deputies found the child about three-quarters of a mile  away just after 10 a.m near the intersection of 40th Street and M-43,  north of Paw Paw.



  A dog that helped police track down the boy's scent rests in an officer's cruiser on June 20, 2018.     

"We  ended up tracking him about a half a mile through an open muddy field.  He ended up going through a fence row. Thank God he didn't go into one  of the three ponds he walked by," Abbott said.

Authorities say the  family’s young pit bull dog was by the toddler’s side when he was  found, and was happy to see deputies. Abbott said the dog's presence  helped police K-9s track the boy.

The toddler was wearing just a T-shirt and diaper during his journey, but only suffered bumps and scrapes.

The  sheriff says the case doesn't appear to be criminal - it appears his  mom took her eyes off him a short time and he wandered away. However,  the sheriff says a report must still be filed with Michigan's Child  Protective Services and the prosecutor for review.

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