Missing Payson 4-year-old found safe

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Travis Mitchell By Catherine Holland Travis Mitchell By Catherine Holland

PAYSON, Ariz. -- Police and volunteers searching a wooded area near the Payson airport for a missing 4-year-old have found the little boy.

Travis Mitchell reportedly was found less than two miles from where he was last seen.Travis is alive and unharmed. He was missing for more than 18 hours.

Crews on horseback discovered Travis about a mile northwest of his home. The Department of Public Safety helicopter flew Travis to the hospital as a precaution, but Tammy Rose reported from the news helicopter that the little boy appeared to be in good shape.

This all started at about 5 p.m. Sunday when Travis and four other kids were playing in a wooded area in a neighborhood west of the Payson Airport. Travis' 10-year-old brother was part of that group. When the kids returned home, Travis was not with them.

According to Sgt. John Heflin of the Payson Police Department, Travis, his brother and the other kids often play in that area. Travis had to go to the bathroom so he headed back to the house, but he never made it.

As soon as they realized he was missing, family and friends started looking for Travis, calling the Payson Police Department when they could not find him.

The police department launched a search. The Gila County Sheriff's Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue and the Arizona Department of Corrections with its bloodhounds all helped with that search, along with friends, family and neighbors.

Police said there was no indication of foul play in Travis' disappearance.