2-Year-Old Boy Vanishes And Police Follow Paw Prints Through The Woods To Solve His Case

In October 2017, Chelsea Nobel woke up in the middle of the night with a sinking feeling that something was wrong. She immediately looked over to where her 2-year-old son, William, was sleeping and saw he was gone.

After frantically searching her home, Chelsea called the police. Thus began an extensive search for the missing boy in and around the Mississippi community.

Helicopters, K-9 units, and volunteers spent hours searching the heavily wooded area, but William was nowhere to be found.

Then, authorities spotted a set of tiny footprints in the woods. And every time they discovered what they assumed were William’s footprints, they found a second set of prints — only these prints belonged to an animal.

As it turned out, William definitely wasn’t alone in his disappearance…

boy missing set of prints

In October 2017, Chelsea Nobel awoke in the middle of the night to find her 2-year-old son, William, missing from his bed.

boy missing set of prints

It seemed like William had somehow gotten up in the middle of the night and wandered off, though no one could be sure at the time.

boy missing set of prints

The frantic mother called the police and an extensive search began in Harrison County, Mississippi.

boy missing set of prints

The tireless effort included K-9 units and ATVs from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

boy missing set of prints

Police, neighbors, and volunteers searched the woods for hours, but there was no sign of the little boy.

boy missing set of prints

Not even the sheriff’s department helicopter could find him.

boy missing set of prints

Eventually, authorities found a set of tiny footprints that had traveled through the woods.

Then, they noticed something else.

boy missing set of prints

Every time William’s footprints were spotted, the second set of prints were found alongside them.

But these prints belonged to a dog.

boy missing set of prints

Meanwhile…

Hours after William’s disappearance, a 10-year-old boy named Blake Carroll was arriving home from school when he heard the horn beeping from inside his uncle’s old truck.

Blake noticed a dog circling the truck, desperately trying to get inside. The boy peered through the windshield, and there was William: crying and pressing the horn.

Blake called his uncle for help, and they pulled little William to safety.

boy missing set of prints

Authorities quickly arrived, and the search was called off.

Aside from some bug bites and scratches, William was unscathed from his late-night journey.

boy missing set of prints

William is mostly nonverbal and is being tested for autism; he may not have responded if and when nearby searchers called his name.

The emotional mother broke down in tears upon reuniting with her son.

boy missing set of prints

However, Chelsea was charged with misdemeanor child neglect. Investigators determined she was not properly supervising William at the time he wandered off.

boy missing set of prints

The sheriff’s department has hailed the dog — named Jezebel — a hero for staying by William’s side the entire night.

boy missing set of prints

They say she kept him protected for those seven terrifying hours.

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