4-year-old boy found after going missing Thursday, prompting massive search

4-year-old boy found after going missing Thursday, prompting massive search

MERRIMACK, N.H. — A 4-year-old wandered off from a Merrimack, New Hampshire playground on Thursday, sparking a massive search.

It was just after noon when the boy's parents turned their head for a split second and their 4-year-old wandered off. Police say the 4-year-old was taken to the hospital to be checked out after being found.

He's doing fine and is at home with his family.

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Merrimack's police chief says a police unit was training nearby and jumped into action, and they weren't alone.

"They immediately deployed to the area and began an initial search and they couldn't locate him at the time," Chief Denise Roy said.

A command post was set up. Residents joined in, the extremely hot weather a concern as everyone fanned out.

"We knew we had to act quickly and it was only a matter of time before something bad could happen," Chief Roy said.

And it was some of those residents who spotted the frightened boy hiding down by a creek.

"I believe he was hiding because he was afraid," Chief Roy said. "He was very upset when our officer, who happened to be nearby, when he got there, he was extremely upset."

The boy drank an entire bottle of water while that officer kept the boy entertained.

"One of our officers was giving him his flashlight just to hopefully make him feel a little more comfortable," the chief said.

The boy's parents were brought to the scene, the boy's mother overcome with emotion with her little boy safe and sound.

"As soon as they saw that he was safe, everyone who was down there told me it was a very emotional moment," Chief Roy said.