Seven-year-old Dylan Beede spent Saturday night alone in the Malheur National Forest after becoming separated from family and friends camped at the Elk Creek Campground near the Grant-Baker county line.
After a search and rescue effort, Dylan was found Sunday morning unharmed except for minor scrapes and bruises to the relief of his family, who live in Bend.
“God is so good!” Dylan’s mother, Juana Beeded, said. “Jeremy and I were so, so blessed by the amazing community. We felt your prayers and love, and we can’t even put into words what it meant to us. All of the officers, volunteers, everyone, thank you again for everything.”
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of the missing boy at 3 p.m. after a family member drove to Seneca to call 911, according to a press release from Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer.
As search and rescue personnel were responding, law enforcement officers on scene determined several vehicles had been seen in the area and attempted to locate them in case Dylan had been abducted. Searchers from the sheriff’s office, the Oregon State Police and volunteers from the public began to search for Dylan but could not find him Saturday.
Additional resources from Baker, Deschutes and Crook counties were called for the second day of the search, but as they were arriving on scene, Dylan was located about 1.5 miles northwest from where he was last seen.
“At about 7:30 a.m. on July 24th, Dylan was located by Oregon State Police Trooper Pat McKosker and brought back to the Elk Creek Campground where Dylan was reunited with his family,” Palmer said in the release. “Dylan underwent a medical exam on scene by paramedics from the Blue Mountain Hospital and (was) released to his family.”
As a parting gift, Dylan was given a hat emblazoned with the Grant County Sheriff emblem. His mother said he loves the hat and wears it all the time.