ESTERO, Fla.- An entire community comes together to find two missing toddlers. A volunteer found Innocence Davis around six Tuesday evening. Her brother Caspian was found alone in the woods, 10 hours later wearing just a diaper. WINK News talked to the specially trained Urban Search and Rescue team who brought that boy to safety.
Those rescuers with USAR told me a last minute decision and change in their path is what led them to finding missing Caspian Thomas. You can imagine the sigh of relief they felt when that little boy opened his eyes and they brought him to safety. USAR tells WINK News if took just over 30 minutes to find the boy once they were deployed.
"Disbelief at first, I didn't think it was what it was, I had to check it a second time to make sure it was in fact what we were looking for," said Rescue Squad Officer, Glen VanBrunt.
Rescuers describe this as simply a miracle.
"You train for the worst and hope for the best, but you prepare for the worst and we got the best outcome," said Rescue Specialist, Dan Miller.
The search for two-year-old Caspian Thomas was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
"When he was sitting there, he was sleeping, laying on his back, peaceful as can be," said VanBrunt.
Glen VanBrunt, with Urban Search and Rescue was the first one to lay eyes on the young boy after an extensive search nearing it's 11th hour.
"He says 'Hey, I found him, it was calm, cool, collected, it almost sounded like he didn't believe he found the child," said Miller.
The boy was alone, in the woods, wearing only a diaper. Rescuers say the odds were against him.
"When I shook him to see if he was ok, he opened his eyes, he reached for me, I grabbed him, and we started heading out of the woods with the other teams members clearing a path for me so I didn't trip and fall."
Moments after Caspian was found, VanBrunt says Caspian drank a 16 ounce bottle of water in less than a minute.
"He set the bottle down, gave a little baby burp and said water, more water and I knew it was going good."
But it was a quick decision made by the four man crew, to change the path they were on, they made a left instead of continuing straight, leading them to a sleeping Caspian and a happy ending to what could have been a tragic outcome.
"There was some doubt that I didn't check this place good or that place, but once we found the kid it was exciting we were part of that effort," said Communications Specialist, Ryan Arnold.
Now, rescuers say the brush was so thick they couldn't see much more than five feet in front of themselves, so they made the decision to ditch the thermal imager for fear it would pick up the heat from a tree that maybe in front of the child. The team relied soley on their flash lights.