ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 9-year-old boy at the center of a Cheatham County Amber Alert has been found safe. The search has been ongoing for the boy who went missing on Sunday. Residents in the area were asked to search their property in the event he may have sought shelter somewhere.
Crews spent all day and night searching for Jorden Gorman and he was found on Tuesday afternoon. He said he was cold and hungry but in good spirits. Investigators said he did not know how long he had been missing.
Jorden was found in a creekbed less than a mile from his home. He found a blue tarp to use as a shelter until he was rescued.
Here's a picture of the creekbed where Jordan Gorman was found, approximately 3/4 mile, as the crow flies, from his home.— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) November 17, 2020
Jordan said he found that blue tarp and built himself the shelter where rescuers found him this afternoon.#TNAMBERAlert pic.twitter.com/xKhjXMKGpS
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said while they have many questions revolving around his disappearance, they are focused on taking care of the boy first.
The TBI originally issued a statewide Endangered Child Alert when Jorden ran away from his home on Sunday afternoon, but by Monday morning the agency issued an Amber Alert amid "new information and growing concern about [his] well-being."
On Tuesday morning, TBI Spokesperson Josh DeVine said their search efforts continue "in earnest," and they're reexamining locations that were previously searched.
DeVine said while they believed Jorden is in the immediate area, they do not have any information to dispute that. He also acknowledged that the situation becomes more dire with each passing hour, especially with the cold temperatures.
“We’re certainly doing our best to hold onto hope, just like so many people watching at home right now, but with each passing hour, we face a daunting reality that this becomes more and more of a recovery effort than it does a rescue effort," DeVine said.
Sheriff Mike Breedlove also said they have received numerous requests from local volunteers wanting to help with the search. However, he said they are not yet at a point where they can allow a lot of people out there. He said they are still relying on experts now, but later this afternoon, they should have more information on when they can bring in volunteers.
Breedlove said at some point, they would need to get consent from homeowners to search their property.
DeVine said they have received a number of tips from the public but not as many as they typically get in an Amber Alert case.
"Some of the tips have provided some information. Many of the tips have provided information that has not panned out. And that's what we typically expect in these types of situations," DeVine said. "We have to honestly treat every single lead that comes in as an action point [and] something that deserves to be looked at."
The search is being assisted by K-9 units and the Tennessee Highway Patrol's helicopter. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is also assisting.
Sheriff Breedlove also said this is a two-part investigation: the search for Jorden and the investigation into his disappearance. He described Jorden's family as being "distressed," "upset" and "worried," "as any family would be."
"It's not every day that we have a child that just walks off into the woods with no clothing and then he's not heard from and so that's what makes this so dire and so important," Breedlove said.
Sources close to the case tell Nick Beres that highly trained K-9 units have not picked up any scent of the child, which is unusual considering the K-9s were on the scene shortly after he was reported missing. As of Tuesday, the boy's parents are not considered suspects and are cooperating with investigators.
On Monday, Pastor Gerald Prior with New life Community Church says Jorden's family has already experienced tragedy when they lost a son a few years ago in a vehicle crash.
The Cheatham County community wrapped their arms around Jorden’s family, sending them love and prayers – and even helping with the search. Pastor Prior says the community is going to stand with Jorden’s family until he’s safely back home.
"We wept together and prayed together, it’s just hard that’s the difficult part of being a pastor and a friend is walking with folks through hard places," said Prior.