Police dog finds missing Florida toddler safe in woods after following scent from blanket


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A Florida police K-9 is being hailed a hero after helping to find a missing 3-year-old boy who wandered from his home on Friday, authorities said.

The child’s family reported him missing from their home around 11:30 a.m., and authorities immediately launched a team to find the toddler, the DeLand Police Department said.

Officers conducted a massive search for the missing boy, focusing on a wooded area behind the family’s home.

K-9 Midnight, who is trained to search for narcotics and missing people, and his handler Cpl. Damon Clark were called on to help locate the lost boy.

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DeLand Police K-9 Midnight and handler Cpl. Damon Clark

K-9 Midnight and Cpl. Clark were called on to help locate the boy after he wandered from his home in DeLand, Florida, on Friday. (DeLand Police Department)

Using the boy’s blanket, Midnight picked up the child’s scent and followed it into the wooded area, according to officials.

DeLand Police K-9 Midnight

K-9 Midnight used the boy’s blanket to pick up his scent and track him in the woods behind the family’s home. (DeLand Police Department)

Midnight and Clark followed the trail and found the boy in the woods. The child was unharmed and returned safely to his family, the department said.

K-9 Midnight and Clark pose with the boy and his mom

K-9 Midnight, Clark and other officers pose for a photo with the boy and his mother after they were reunited on Friday. (DeLand Police Department)

“Good work to all teams involved!” police said in a statement. “This is the outcome we hope for in these situations, a safe return!”

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Midnight has served the DeLand Police Department since 2022. He joins the ranks of other law enforcement K-9s nationwide who have recently tracked down missing children and reunited them with family.

DeLand Police K-9 Midnight

K-9 Midnight has served the DeLand Police Department since 2022. (DeLand Police Department)

Last month, K-9 Ibiza in Auburn, Massachusetts, followed the scent of a missing 12-year-old boy for two miles to track him down in frigid temperatures.

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In January, K-9 Mary Lu of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida helped find a missing 11-year-old girl who was inside a locked park bathroom.



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