Volunteers' Search For Toddler Called Off

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 19:08:17-05

Crews began their sixth day searching for a 2-year-old toddler lost in the woods, but snow and freezing temperatures forced officials to send volunteers home.

Members of law enforcement and hundreds of volunteers have been looking for 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin since Thursday afternoon.

Madison County Sheriff's spokesman Tom Mapes said law enforcement resumed searching after daybreak on Tuesday after calling off efforts at about 3 a.m. because buses hauling volunteers were needed to take children to school.

Noah's grandmother told police last week he walked away while they were taking a nature walk with Noah's 4-year-old sister in the Pinson area, which is near the Madison-Chester County line.

The Chester County Sheriff said in a press conference Tuesday, their efforts were still being considered a search and rescue not a recovery, since they believed they could still find the boy alive.

They expected him to still be in the woods, possibly in one of the many sinkholes in the area.

Officials called the volunteers off of the search Tuesday afternoon because of the extra personnel and work necessary to keep those volunteers safe during the inclement weather.

Searchers have been covering an area of 1,000 or more acres. 

Noah has been added to the National Center of Missing & Exploited Children database, giving law enforcement yet another tool to share that he was still missing.

Officials said a lot of rumors have been circulating through the community and social media about the involvement of a sex offender or recently poured concrete. They say there was no truth to either rumor, and the gossip has slowed the FBI's investigation.

Sheriff's Office officials said they had no reason not to believe the Chamberlin family's story as to what happened or their cooperation in the case.

At some point in the future, crews will have to scale back their searches. However officials said they were not to that point, and would continue searching in hopes of bringing little Noah back alive.