Many launched into action in successful search for Arlington boy

SUNDERLAND - A missing child was found alive and well after an overnight search and rescue in the woods involving more than 120 first responders and volunteers.

Police reported the Arlington youth was located at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Sunday by a ground search team, approximately one-and-three-quarters of a mile from where he was last seen off Route 7. Police said Joseph "Jo Jo" McCray, 7, was able to walk out of the woods on his own, but he was subsequently transported by ambulance to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for medical evaluation as a precaution.

Hospital officials reported McCray in "good" condition in the early afternoon after he was admitted for treatment. Under medical privacy law, that general condition indicates all stable vital signs and the patient is conscious and comfortable.

Extended family members at the scene of the search expressed relief shortly after word arrived the boy had been located. Also weary and relieved, two firefighters packing up from Arlington said they had been involved in the search since the initial call went out. They said McCray was in remarkable condition given what he had just gone through.

The National Weather Service indicated area temperatures had dropped into the mid-20s overnight.

At 11:30 a.m. Sunday, rescuers moved McCray by stretcher from an all-terrain vehicle to a waiting Bennington Rescue ambulance backed into a trail, just west of Route 7 at exit 3.

Authorities said McCray had been with a family group hunting in that wooded area when he became separated from the others Saturday. Police said they received the missing persons report shortly before 3 p.m. after the child failed to meet at an arranged time and place.

No one was injured during the course of the search and rescue, which involved approximately 120 volunteers and members from the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue and a K9 unit; Fish and Game; and an assortment of local fire departments. Vehicles lined both shoulders of Route 313 at the intersection with Route 7 during the height of the search. Two helicopters, from Customs and Border Protection and Vermont Army Aviation, responded to assist from the air.

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