Spafford (WSYR-TV) -- Two-year-old Michael Gray, who went missing on Tuesday, is now resting at home safely with his parents.
Gray, who is autistic, wandered into the woods and vanished sometime around noon. But after an extensive search, Gray was found alive and well.
“He’s just a beautiful, beautiful kid…an incredible sweet boy,” said Gray’s mom Kim.
After a four hour search, and with just a few scratches on his face, Gray was found.
Gray ventured a little too far from his home, prompting an intensive search on the ground and from above. Then, at about 4 p.m., the call came in that he’d been found.
State Trooper Joe House found Gray about a quarter mile down the road.
“I heard a scream in the woods and shut my car off; heard it again and about 100 yards into the woods, there he was,” House told NewsChannel 9.
"His mom just stood up and started crying that she was so excited and she ran right off the porch and as soon as Trooper House started walking up with Mikey she ran right up to him, hugged him and grabbed him and just was elated that he was safe and sound,” explained State Police spokesman Jack Keller.
The Grays recently moved to the area from Long Island. Gray’s dad is a state trooper and has been involved in many searches of his own.
“You never stop believing. Just stay calm and he got me through it,” Kim said.
Dense forest, sharp rocks and steep drop-offs made the search a challenge.
Trooper House worried even more about Gray’s disappearance, as nightfall was not far off. But as the hours ticked by, onlookers and emergency crews held onto hope.
“It was very tough because I have kids myself. I have boys myself and was just terrified for what could happen to them, especially with these woods, so we were all just terrified,” said Spafford resident Susan Lincoln.
But finally seeing his face brought both tears and joy to all involved.