UPDATE | Missing teen and 3-year-old found safe; parents share relief

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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 7/9/19 @ 10 p.m.
A family was terrified Tuesday afternoon when a 17-year-old took off on a 4-wheeler with his 3-year-old cousin.

Emergency management officials searched Tuesday afternoon for the two kids from Johnson County. They were later found in Sandy Hook, Kentucky.

Crews and volunteers combed the area, and the pair was finally found safe about 30 miles away from their home in the Stambaugh area of Johnson County.

Little Jozie Campbell was returned home safe. Her parents had feared the evening wouldn't have such a happy resolution.

"It's just a parent's worst nightmare," her father Joshua Campbell said.

Jozie's aunt tells WSAZ she was watching her 17-year-old special needs son ride a 4-wheeler with the 3-year-old in her yard on Sturgill Branch. Jozie's aunt says the teen went down the driveway and didn't come back.

Jozie's parents were at work when they got calls about what had happened.

"When I realized she was really missing, I lost it," Jozie's mother Keisha Campbell said.

"Anything could've happened," Joshua said.

Firefighters, police and volunteers combed the area, while worst case scenarios played out in the parents' heads.

"I'd honestly thought somebody might have picked them up," Joshua said.

With the help of tips from drivers who'd seen the pair, police found the girl and her cousin a 45-minute drive away on Route 32 near Sandy Hook.

Johnson County deputies helped stop the ATV and calm the children, and they were returned to their grandmother.

"I just picked her up and was like 'Where did you go,' and she was smiling so big," Keisha said.

"I won the lottery is the best way I can put it," Joshua said. "I held her for a while and squeezed the dickens out of her."

Jozie's parents say she should've not been allowed on that 4-wheeler with her cousin to start with.

"We weren't there to say no," Joshua said.

"You think they're safe right there in your own back yard, and then they end up 20, 30 miles away," Keisha said.

The mother of the teen says she has a heart condition, which was triggered by the stress of the situation, and after the kids were found safe, she was taken to the hospital to be checked out.



UPDATE 7/9/19 @ 6:50 p.m.
Parents of missing 3-year-old Jozie Campbell say they can’t express how grateful they are that she’s back home safely Tuesday evening.

They explained that Jozie's aunt had been watching her earlier Tuesday. The aunt says her 17-year-old son with special needs was riding a 4-wheeler with Jozie in their front yard.

The 17-year-old was instructed not to leave the yard, but he went down the driveway and didn’t come back. The family says police spotted the pair in Sandy Hook, and a friend and family member went and met police. They picked up both youngsters and brought them home.

A massive response of police, firefighters and volunteers combed the area after the two were reported missing.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/9/19 @ 3:47 p.m.
Two kids reported missing from Johnson County, Kentucky, have been found safe.

Crews searched Tuesday afternoon for a 17-year-old boy with special needs and a 3-year-old girl.

Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management officials say the pair was found safe in Sandy Hook, Kentucky. That's about a 45 minute drive from Chandlersville where the children were last seen before they were reported missing.

Both kids were last seen on a yellow ATV.



ORIGINAL STORY 7/9/19
Emergency crews are searching for two missing kids from Johnson County, Kentucky.

Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management officials posted the urgent message to Facebook Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators are looking for the children in the Chandlersville area.

One of the juveniles is a 17-year-old boy with special needs, according to emergency management officials. The other child is a 3-year-old girl.

Both kids were last seen on a yellow ATV in the Chandlersville area near the Lawrence County line.

The teenager was last seen barefoot and wearing shorts.

If you have any information about the case, call 911.



 
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