A missing Lauderdale County child was safe Wednesday morning after an exhaustive search lasting more than 16 hours.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said 5-year-old Henton Kenneth Dean of Center Hill was located shortly after 10 a.m. and was given a clean bill of health by Metro Ambulance Service.
Dean was located along Grissom Lane, a short section of road between Grissom Road and Haguewood Road less than a mile from his home, Calhoun said. Thick overgrowth in the area made searching difficult, he said, and several search teams were within a few hundred yards of the child when he was found.
“Even with technology, there’s some very thick woods in parts of Lauderdale County,” he said.
Calhoun said multiple agencies throughout Central Mississippi helped in the search, including the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, Lauderdale County Volunteer Fire Departments, Mississippi Emergency Management, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and first responders from Scott County.
“You name it, they were here,” he said.
In addition to first responders, Calhoun said, neighbors, community members and churches joined in searching and supporting the search.
“The community really rallied together not only in helping locate the kid but supporting those doing the search,” he said.
With Dean safely located, Calhoun said searchers, many of whom had been out all night, were returning to a command post set up at the Longstreet Masonic Lodge to rest and eat food brought by community members wanting to support the search effort.
Even with the additional searchers from other counties, he said it was unlikely they’d be able to eat everything brought by generous residents.