Missing boy found in Chattahoochee Forest
The Memorial Day weekend got off to a tense start for Whitfield County authorities. Around 12:30 Friday afternoon, they got a call for an 11 year old boy, missing in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
Friday, May 23rd 2014, 10:45 pm EDT
As Whitfield County rescuers reunite 11 year old Eddie McDonald of Acworth with his worried father, the two share a warm embrace.
It was the best case scenario as their four hour long ordeal comes to a joyous conclusion in the Chattahoochee National Forest Friday.
But moments prior, Whitfield Fire Battalion Chief Terry Warnix was very concerned , "as far as we know we have an eleven year old who has been missing since 12:30 today,we've got six or seven four wheelers in the woods right now looking for him," says Warnix at the impromptu briefing.
But rescuers had some unexpected help.
From concerned neighbors, who showed up with an earthmover, just in case it was needed.
Then there was motorcyclist Charlie Berichi from Florida, who offered to help out as well. "He might be down this trail over here so we're going to go for a ride and look for him too," said Berichi.
Moments later, rescuers catch a break, finding the vehicle the boy was driving when he vanished from the 450 miles of trails
"We have located the go-cart he was on, but he's not in the area, they did find some foot tracks in the area but we still haven't found him yet," updates Warnix.
It wasn't 10 minutes later that they got the radio call from search crews.
Their target has been located, acquired, and is coming back..
"He had been in the woods about four hours so, it's a good day," says Warnix triumphantly.
Despite a bit of a limp while walking to an awaiting ambulance, Eddie looked pretty good considering what he had been through.
Nevertheless, paramedics would make sure, transporting him to a local hospital for a medical check.
Eddie's father John says he had been out in the woods with his son, who was going for one last spin on the trail when he became lost.
U.S. Forestry officials stress while all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles are acceptable to drive the trails, go-carts such as Eddie's are not approved.