Two-year-old Joshua “J.J.” Rowland was found after 24 hours of exhaustive searching, when he wandered into the woods from his family’s home.
“It looked like he was a little scratched up and maybe a little upset,” the Hernando County sheriff, Al Nienhuis, announced. “It’s certainly a miracle.”
Nienhuis described the situation in a press conference. He explained that J.J. was dropped at his family home by a caregiver, at 9:45 A.M.. Both of J.J.’s parents were asleep at the time. While they were sleeping, J.J. wandered into the woods near the house.
J.J.’s mother would call the police, after searching for him for an hour. An exhaustive search began, complete with helicopters and drones and 500 volunteers, but it would be the intervention of a retired Marine and Good Samaritan to find the lost boy.
“I listened good,” Roy Link, 62; a volunteer searcher said. “I heard like a whimpering kind of noise and at that point, I was like, there’s no kids here, it’s gotta be JJ. And sure enough, I went in the woods, 100 feet from where I was at.”
“We were just talking and both of us were getting a little emotional. Little JJ climbed onto him [Link] and didn’t let go. He was so excited to see him. I was hoping and praying for a miracle. I think a lot of people were praying — and prayer works.”