Volunteers Search for Missing Toddler

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

It's every parent’s worse nightmare.

"Mom came running in the house, I can't find Caleb or the dogs and they're missing," said James Waller, who lives with Caleb's family.

Three-year-old Caleb Campbell went missing just after 4 p.m. Thursday night. Crews from several area police and fire departments, search dogs and even a Lifeline helicopter teamed up to find the missing child.

"I was kind of like frantic after the first 20 minutes ‘cause you know he's not on the farm then they started searching the rows and everything. I knew I had so many people around that it helped make everything better," Clarence Campbell, the missing boy's father said.

Nearly 100 volunteers raked through a 50-acre cornfield across from the Campbell family's farm. "With mosquitoes and everything and nightfall coming it's a very dangerous situation," says Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers.

While crews searched in one direction, James Waller went the opposite. "I was just gonna go up there and shut the four wheeler off take a break, I was tired of it. Then I spotted him walking across a hayfield," Waller said.

Two hours in the heat, bugs and frightening thoughts came to a close. "It was the greatest feeling in the world, the kid, I was elated."

After hours of scouring the cornfields, volunteers say they're glad this three-year-old made it home safely.


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