UPDATE: Missing Sherburne County Boy Found Safe
CLEAR LAKE -- A young boy who went missing near Clear Lake on Tuesday afternoon, prompting a massive volunteer search effort, has been found safe.
The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office posted an update to their Facebook page on Wednesday morning just before 2 a.m. They say Ethan was found approximately a mile and a half from his home.
"He was with his dog and is being checked out by paramedics," the post reads. "We want to thank the numerous partnering agencies that helped in the search along with more than 600 volunteers."
Ethan, who had gotten off a school bus with his siblings just after 4 p.m., reportedly disappeared after running off to play with the family dog.
By 10 p.m., volunteer organizer Steve Schraeder estimated between 500-600 people had shown up to search for Ethan. Volunteers were assigned numbers and moved to a staging area outside of the fire hall where school buses waited to take them to the search area.
By 10:30 p.m., the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office had requested people not travel to the area due to a sharp increase in traffic.
Becker resident Alison Hayes joined the search around 9:30 p.m. She has a six-year-old daughter and says she felt compelled to help.
"It hit close to home for me," Hayes said. "I would really hope my community would come out to support me if, god forbid, something were to happen like this - to me or anyone in our community."
Hayes says information about the search effort traveled quickly through social media.
"I'm amazed how fast the word spread," Hayes said. "And by how many people showed up to show their support. I know it means a lot to me and everyone else in our community."
The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office plans to release more information later on Wednesday.