UPDATE: Missing 2-Year-Old Reunited with Mother in Scioto County, Ohio

By: Kristen Schneider; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Kristen Schneider; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 4/2/14 @ 10 p.m.
SOUTH WEBSTER, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A mother and child were reunited after a tense six-hour search with dozens of volunteers and law enforcement.

Jennifer Scaff was building a play set for her son Gauge about noon Wednesday.

He was helping out handing her screws, but he vanished all of a sudden, she said.

“I turned around and said I needed two more, and couldn't find him,” she said. “He was gone."

Neighbors and police searched the area around Smith Road with dogs, ATVs, and a helicopter, but for five hours there was no sign of the 2-and-a-half-year-old child.

"It was more than panic,” Scaff said. “I don't even know how to describe it. I was scared to death."

Melinda Stevens lives nearly 4 miles away. She and her husband were about to join in on the search after learning of the missing boy on Facebook, when she heard a child’s voice in the distance behind their barn.

"I saw a dark spot that I thought was one of our calves,” Stevens said, “and I heard a little voice, and I yelled and said, 'Is anybody out there,' and I heard this little voice say, 'yeah.' "

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Department says Gauge, along with his dog, had walked through the woods over rough terrain and cow pastures far beyond where anyone thought he could have gone.

"I am extremely shocked at how far he went," Scaff said.

Stevens gave the boy a Popsicle and called police.

The mother was in tears when she arrived to get her boy.

Stevens says she’s relieved she could play a role in ending the family's nightmare.

"It's just happiness, it's relief,” Stevens said. “You think, OK, there was my purpose in life, to help them out. I'm just glad we found him. I just can't imagine him being out there all night by himself."

“I don't know what we'd have done without her.” Scaff said of Stevens. “It could’ve been a whole lot worse."

Just as the child was found, the search was intensifying. More than a hundred volunteers had showed up at the scene.

They were asked by the sheriff’s department to all go to a local school to officially sign up as part of the search so it could be better organized. Fortunately, that ended up not being necessary.

UPDATE 4/2/14 @ 6:05 p.m.
SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) --Deputies say a missing 2-year-old boy has been found in Scioto County, Ohio.

Scioto County Sheriff's deputies tell WSAZ.com Gauge Scaff, 2, of South Webster was found about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

He was reported missing about 12:30 p.m.

Deputies say the boy was found at a home several miles away from his home on Smith Road in South Webster.

They say a woman at the home heard a noise coming from her backyard, went outside to check it out and found the boy.

Deputies and Gauge's mother went to the home where he was found to pick him up.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 4/2/14 @ 4 p.m.
SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Crews are searching for a missing two-year-old boy in Scioto County, Ohio.

Scioto County Sheriff's deputies tell WSAZ.com they are searching for Gauge Scaff, 2, of South Webster.

Deputies say Gauge's mother reported him missing about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. They say she told deputies he had been missing for about 30 minutes.

Gauge was last seen at his home on Smith Road.

Deputies say he was wearing gray sweatpants and a camouflage hooded sweatshirt.

They say two dogs were reported missing with the boy but one may have returned.

Deputies, several fire departments and EMS crews have been at the scene searching for several hours but have not found Gauge.

Ohio Highway Patrol has launched a helicopter to aid in the search.

Anyone who wants to volunteer in the search can go to South Webster Elementary School to sign up.

Deputies say they do not plan to stop searching the area until the boy is found.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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