Toddler missing for hours found safe; mother questioned

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- A Valley toddler was reunited with his family early Monday morning after a six-hour overnight search.

Boy cold, but safe

It all started shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday, when crews were called out to a recycling yard in the area of 27th Avenue and McDowell Road.

The boyfriend of the 3-year-old's mother is an employee at the yard and apparently left his wallet there.

While he was looking for the wallet, the toddler and five other kids played on huge bales of recycled paper. At some point, the kids noticed that the toddler had vanished.

While nobody saw him fall, it was believed that the little boy tumbled in between two of the paper bales, which stand about 20 feet high.

Phoenix police officers and firefighters, along with a rapid response team and K9 units, were called out to search for the little boy.

A K9 officer and Special Assignment Officers finally found the toddler at about 3 a.m., some six hours after he disappeared.

The little boy had indeed fallen between two large paper bales. While he was cold, he was not hurt. Rescuers said he was alert and conscious, but he was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Detectives were interviewing the boy's mother and her boyfriend to determine if any charges should be filed.