Child survives on wild nuts, berries while missing for two days
Published Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:53PM CST
Last Updated Friday, July 27, 2012 6:14PM CST
After two days of surviving on his own, 10-year-old Tyrone Alexander Podollan was found in a wooded area Friday morning.
“No one had seen him for over 24 hours,” said Alex Podollan, Tyrone’s father.
Alex and his family searched for Tyrone right after he went missing near Lake of the Prairies on July 25, but when they couldn’t find him by Thursday morning they called RCMP.
Officers quickly sought the public’s help finding the child, saying the boy had run away from home.
More than 60 community volunteers pitched in to help.
Mickey Minchuk was one of those volunteers. “It’s kind of scary. You always think it may be one of yours, too,” he said.
Crews searched late into the night Thursday and resumed efforts on Friday.
Searchers had seen bears in the area, and RCMP said the situation was becoming dangerous for the child.
“You had bush, water, wildfire, environmental factors that could definitely pose a threat to his safety and security,” said Sgt. Line Karpish of the RCMP.
Finally, Tyrone was found by family members on July 27 in a small wooded area near his family’s home. He was alive and well.
“He looked a little bit relieved, too. He was happy to be home,” said Alex.
The area Tyrone was found in had already been searched. RCMP believe the boy didn’t stay in one spot and was on the move as searchers were trying to find him.
The 10-year-old had been outdoors in the valley near several creeks and rivers for two full nights.
Tyrone’s father said the child foraged for food over the two days. “He mentioned he survived on hazelnuts, raspberries and spring water,” said Alex.
RCMP said they believe Tyrone was never more than two kilometres from home.
“It was an unplanned adventure, and he’s glad to be home, and we’re all glad to see him,” said Alex.
RCMP thanked the public for their help finding the child and cautioned others it’s important to alert police as soon as possible when someone goes missing.