Boy found in Montana woods after missing for 48 hours

Ryker Webb, 3, sought shelter in a shed, officials said.

June 9, 2022, 11:37 AM

A 3-year-old Montana boy has been found after being reported missing for 48 hours.

The child, Ryker Webb, is healthy and in good spirits after his rescue on Sunday, police said.

A couple in the Bull Lake valley area heard a voice near their shed on Sunday and found Ryker inside, Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short told ABC News.

Short said that the couple had been visiting their cabin and hear a whimper from their nearby shed. When they entered, they found Ryker inside of a lawnmower bag.

Short believes that Ryker had taken cover inside the shed and slept within the lawnmower bag from the Friday eveing that had gone missing, under he was found on Sunday.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Ryker disappeared on Friday afternoon after he had been seen playing with his family dog outside of his home near mile marker 18 of state Highway 56.

The office received a call on Friday at approximately 4:53 p.m. that Ryker had already been missing for more than two hours.

PHOTO: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office released a photo of Ryker Webb who was found in Troy, Mo.
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office released a photo of Ryker Webb who was found in Troy, Mo.
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

The search began near the Bull Lake valley area. Authorities said ATVs, drones, dog teams and a boat were used to look for Ryker in the initial search.

Montana Air National Guard helicopters joined in on the search on Saturday. Flathead County and Spokane Police were also part of the rescue team, providing drones as well as additional dog teams.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that poor weather conditions made the search difficult. There were also severe thunderstorms in the area on the night that Skyler went missing.

Police sent a code red alert to residents on Saturday, asking that they search their properties and structures for Ryker.

Deputies ultimately found Ryker just two miles from his home. He was hungry, thirsty and cold, police said. Authorities said the area where Ryker was found is inhabited by mountain lions and bears.

Short spoke to Ryker inside the shed before carrying him to the waiting ambulance.

“He was absolutely shocked and scared when I first made contact with him," Short told ABC News.

Ryker was transported to a local hospital and is expected to be OK, officials said.

Short said authorities are looking into why Ryker's parents waited two hours before reporting him as missing.

"We want to make sure we know the details of how he was able to walk away, and why it took so long for us to get the call about it," Short said.

He added that Child Protective Services also responded to the scene, and they and the police are looking into possible cases of negligence and endangerment within the family.