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EMS driver directing traffic finds missing 3-year-old boy in Madison County

PENDLETON, Ind. (WISH) — After a 10-hour search involving dozens of people, a 3-year-old boy was found safe and sound after he’d walked away from his home before dawn Wednesday, authorities said.

During the search for Abdul Agboola, Justin Harmeson, 20, was helping direct traffic during the search along State Road 13 near West Grandview Boulevard. That’s just south of the Interstate 69 interchange for the state highway and about 2 miles west of Pendleton.

Harmeson, a driver with the emergency medical service of Chesterfield-Union Township Fire Department, heard a faint cry coming from a ditch while directing traffic.

“I then walked closer toward the road and that is when I saw the little boy’s head peaking over the road. I then went over. He had his arms held up for me to pick him up. I went over and grabbed him,” Harmeson said.

Justin screamed for help. He said Abdul looked cold and his feet were wet. Harmeson said he didn’t have shoes or socks on. 

Harmeson’s first reaction? “Just, oh, my gosh. With the amount of assets and the work they put in since roughly 2 this morning, it is just by pure miracle that I had been standing out there for an hour and a half and I had found him.”

Justin said he wouldn’t call himself a hero. “It makes me feel amazing just knowing I was able to reunite a parent with their child. I truly believe that’s a feeling that no one can experience until they’ve done it.”

Chesterfield Police Department told News 8 that Abdul was taken to Riley Children’s Health in Indianapolis to be checked out. Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Riley Children’s Health told News 8 that Abdul was in good condition.

Nearly 100 people helped in the search for Abdul.

In one neighborhood, Carol Hibbs helped more than a dozen people during the search. Her group fanned out in the neighborhood.  “I am giving my assistance to help find this baby,” said Carol Hibbs, of Fortville.

Jessica Green, of Pendleton, helped search the neighborhood while 9 months pregnant. “I would hope that if it were me in my situation and it were my kids, I would pray that other families would come out and help search because we live in a vast world.”

Police said he walked from a house sometime before 2 a.m. Wednesday. Volunteers searched underneath bushes, inside cars, in and around the water, and even in trash cans.

Just before noon Wednesday, the news that Abdul was found safe spread almost instantly. “Praise the Lord! Praise God!” said Jill Golden, of Ingalls, who was part of a search party. “That’s all I can say is praise God!”

Previous reporting:

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A 3-year-old Madison County boy who walked away from his home around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday has been found safe, according to authorities.

Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger said Abdul Agboola was found “curled up” in a ditch near a subdivision around 11:45 a.m.

“He seems to be in great condition,” Mellinger said.

He said the outpouring of mutual aid to help in the search for Agboola was “incredible” and “he couldn’t ask for a better ending.”

A police officer involved in the search heard what Mellinger described as a whimper coming from the east side of State Road 13. There the officer found Agboola curled up in a ditch, crying.

“That ditch is low enough that unless you’re looking in a ditch you might miss him,” Mellinger said.

He is being evaluated by medical professionals and his family is en route to be reunited with him, Mellinger said.

More updates are expected to be released from the sheriff’s office Wednesday afternoon.

Previous reporting:

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A search is underway for a missing 3-year-old child in Madison County, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

A Silver Alert has been issued for the missing child.

The office says the 3-year-old child, Abdul Agboola, appears to have walked away from his home around 2:30 a.m.

Agboola is described as being 36″ tall and weighing 37 pounds with a thin build. He has black hair and brown eyes

At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing dark athletic pants and a green shirt.

Deputies say the child left the home without shoes and they are worried about hypothermia and injury.

Currently, officers are searching the Springbrook housing neighborhood on State Road 13 which is between I-69 and Fortville.

Authorities are asking people in that neighborhood to search their vehicles, garages and out buildings.

Anyone with information on the child is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at 765-642-0221.