Young Cousins Found Safe 1 Day After They Went Missing from Campsite

PHOTO: Cousins Michael Esposito, 5, and Adrian Ross, 7, were found safe Oct. 9, 2015, one day after they disappeared from a campsite in eastern Kentucky.
David Stricker
Cousins Michael Esposito, 5, and Adrian Ross, 7, were found safe Oct. 9, 2015, one day after they disappeared from a campsite in eastern Kentucky.

Two young cousins were found safe today, officials said, one day after they were reported missing from a campsite in eastern Kentucky.

The cousins, 5-year-old Michael Esposito and 7-year-old Adrian Ross, disappeared in the woods around 6 p.m. Thursday, while their fathers and grandfather were setting up for a family reunion at a campsite at the Red River Gorge, according to ABC affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

Today, both boys were found alive and well, Kentucky State Trooper Joe Veeneman told ABC News. They were found by search and rescuers about 1 mile from the campsite, Veeneman said.

The boys were checked out, Veeneman said, but he did not have further information on their conditions.

According to WCPO-TV, the boys told their family that they weren't scared and they had fun.

The desperate search for the cousins began Thursday evening. Rescue crews, helicopters and hound dogs looked through the night, WCPO-TV said.

Once the sun rose, about 100 people joined the search on foot, Michael's mother, Julie Esposito, told WCPO-TV.

"I can't really afford to break down and be emotional because I needed to help answer questions and coordinate things," Esposito told WCPO-TV this morning. "We are going to bring them back.”

This afternoon, after the search had ended, Esposito told WCPO-TV that she knew the boys would be OK.

"It wasn't that cold last night and they were together, but I knew if it rained and they were out and if they spent a second night wet and cold it wouldn't be good. So I just kept praying," she said.