Two volunteers on horseback found 4-year-old Travis Mitchell Monday morning in a canyon about a mile from his home off Airport Road, from which the child disappeared Sunday at 5 p.m.
For full details of the search and rescue, pick up tomorrow’s Payson Roundup.
Two rescuers on horseback found the boy in rugged terrain about a mile from where he disappeared. The boy appeared unhurt, despite spending the night in the woods.
However, rescue workers called in a Department of Public Safety helicopter, which airlifted the boy to Payson Regional Medical Center just before noon on Monday for a checkup by doctors.
Travis was playing outside his home near the south end of the Airpark, off West Gina Point, when he went missing, said Gila County Sheriff’s Sgt. Terry Hudgens.
A young girl with Travis told investigators they were playing near a wash when Travis said he had to go to the bathroom and walked off.
Half an hour later, Travis’ parents realized he was missing and began searching for him. Neighbors joined in on the search, but were unable to locate any sign of Travis’ direction.
The Payson Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue were called in along with two bloodhounds from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Safety helicopter.
Throughout the night, more than 50 searchers scoured the area for any sign of Travis.
Using a grid pattern, TRSAR volunteers looked from the ground. From the air, DPS is used infrared cameras to search for the boy's body heat, but did not spot anything. The bloodhounds picked up a possible scent trail sometime during the night, but that lead washed out.
On Monday morning, Payson Police officers stopped any vehicles coming or going to the area.