3-year-old found in tool box after overnight search in Bryan County

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 5:41 PM CDT
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CARTWRIGHT, Okla. (KXII) - A 3-year-old Bryan County boy is safe and sound after a nearly 11 hour overnight search ended with his rescue.

The Bryan County Sheriff’s Office says Cash Curtis was found inside a tool box on the family’s property

When they found him, Chief Deputy and Captain Scott Phelps says he was wet, cold and hungry, but most importantly, safe.

“Amazing how everything worked together to make this a happy ending," Phelps said.

Around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office got a report of a missing child.

Phelps says Cash was playing in the front yard of his home.

“At the time, we knew that he had been unsupervised for about 10 to 15 minutes," Phelps said.

His foster family says he plays outside often, so it was unusual when they came out and he was nowhere to be found.

That’s when the extensive search began.

The team of around 200 people included Choctaw Nation Emergency Management, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, several fire and police departments, along with first responders and community members, some even from Texas.

“Around 7 p.m., we determined that the scene was going to grow beyond the capacity there. So we moved our mobile command trailer out to the scene to provide a work space for command,” said Choctaw Nation Emergency Management Director Jeff Hansen.

Efforts comprised of emergency text alerts, drones, tracking dogs, night-vision helicopters and teams on foot, searching a three-mile radius around the home.

“So we absolutely tried to exhaust any resource that we could get," Phelps said.

The biggest threat was the weather.

“It was getting cold. He didn’t have a jacket on. So our biggest fear was that he was in the elements," Phelps said.

Around 4:30 a.m. Friday, Cash was found inside a tool box in a truck bed.

His guardians refused medical treatment for him.

They declined an interview Friday afternoon.

Phelps says it’s unknown how long he’d been inside the box.

Regardless, he was safe.

“To me, it’s why I do what I do. It’s why all of our staff do what we do. The feeling of being able to help, it’s the most rewarding feeling in the world," said Hansen.

“All the people, legitimately concerned, for this child and the whole community coming together. That was definitely heartwarming," Phelps said.

Phelps says the investigation is ongoing.

He says the sheriff’s office won’t stop until they have all the answers.

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