It’s one of those stories that is so frightening for those involved, but results in a happy ending.
That was the case Tuesday, Oct. 29, when a 6-year-old boy was reported missing near the Round Valley Trailhead in the Lakes Basin area.
The unidentified mother was hiking in the area with her young son. She said she walked to an overlook area and then he suddenly wasn’t around.
She and an undisclosed number of family members looked for the child for about an hour before the mother called the Plumas County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center to request help.
JJ or Jeremy as the child was called went missing around 9:15 a.m. When dispatch received the call at 10:14 a.m., they began calling for support. The Plumas County Search and Rescue team was paged, the Plumas National Forest was notified and the California Highway Patrol Quincy Area office was called as well as sheriff’s officers.
According to the CHP, they received a call from the Susanville CHP Communications Center at 10:09 a.m.
They were told that a child identified with having special needs was missing.
CHP officer Reese McAllister, Sgt. Chuck Brothers and Portola Resident Post officers Reid Mason and Randy Thompson immediately responded to the area where the boy was last seen.
To add to the support the Valley Division of the CHP air ops was requested to assist putting units in the air.
The Forest Service also sent three units and personnel to assist in the hunt for a little boy described as wearing a red puffy jacket and blue pants.
While CHP officers gave specific direction into the area off Gold Lake Highway, it was just about 30 minutes later that the little boy with dark curly hair was reunited with his mom.
According to a CHP report, after arriving on scene Thompson and Mason began the search on foot. McAllister began collecting information from the little boy’s family.
Then McAllister — himself a father of five — joined the hunt.
With all of the people out looking, it was the family dog that returned to the area with the unharmed child. JJ was found about 100 yards from the trailhead, according to the sheriff’s office dispatch.