Teen found by bloodhound in daylong search

by Kate Shunney

A 14-year-old boy who had gone missing from his New Hope area home on Sunday was found by a police bloodhound and his handler late Monday afternoon following a widespread search by multiple police agencies and members of the public. The teen was suffering from exposure to the cold when he was located in a hunting blind roughly half a mile from his home, said Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer. Morgan County EMS took the boy to War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs for evaluation and treatment.

Bohrer said Deputy Diehl took the report of the missing teen late on Sunday afternoon. After a preliminary search didn’t turn up results, Bohrer said his department started mustering resources to intensify their search for the boy. An initial bloodhound search didn’t reveal the teen’s location. Bohrer said he tried to get Trooper 5, the Maryland State Police helicopter, but wasn’t able to get that resource until the daytime on Monday. The helicopter flew over the New Hope area with a heat-detecting tool. Bohrer said the tree blind where the teen was finally located had a metal roof, which likely made him undetectable from the air.

Deputy Dan Clarke of the Frederick County, Va. Sheriff’s Department was the officer who found the teen. Bohrer said the officer saw color and movement around the hunting stand near Sandy Lane and located the boy there shortly after 4 p.m. He had been missing for roughly 27 hours.

Bohrer said it appears the teen had been upset and walked away from the family home on his own.

“We have no reason to believe we need an official investigation,” Bohrer said. He said he would be interested in interviewing the teen when he has recovered, just to learn how and why he went missing.

The family had just recently moved to Morgan County and the boy is originally from Bogata, Colombia, said the sheriff.

With temperatures dropping on Monday afternoon, Bohrer said it is very fortunate the boy was found before he became hypothermic.

“He is expected to be okay,” the sheriff said.

“We are so blessed that we have the resources and partnerships we have, and the community who helps,” Bohrer said.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the West Virginia State Police, Frederick County (Va.) Sheriff’s Department, Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department, Hancock Fire Department, Pentoney’s Excavating, Winchester Office of Emergency Management, Morgan County EMS, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and private citizens who assisted with the search.