A massive hunt for a young child who went missing while vacationing with his grandparents has been launched.
2-year-old Émile was on a trip to the hamlet of Le Vernet in Lozère, France, when he vanished suddenly while spending the weekend with his grandparents.
According to the early reports, the boy was playing in the garden of his grandfather’s home when he slipped from the property as the family was saying goodbyes and getting ready to leave.
After being unable to locate the boy, the worried grandparents called the authorities and a massive search involving the police, rescue teams, volunteers, and locals was launched.
“It’s a small village with 20 or so houses … we see everything. He could have gone some distance and perhaps got lost or was hiding,” Le Vernet mayor François Balique said.
Meanwhile, the police revealed that two hikers spotted the young boy alone before losing sight of him. They also urged anyone with information about the child’s potential whereabouts to come forward.
Despite the public’s worries that a third party might have played a role in the child’s disappearance, the police have dismissed the possibility that the child was abducted.
The authorities also revealed that the boy was wearing a yellow top and white shorts with a green pattern before leaving his grandparents’ home.
“He is two and a half years old so he won’t be able to go very far on his own. The problem is that he has poor motor skills so if he falls in a place where he has trouble getting out, he is going to have trouble finding his way back,” profiler David Corona told BFMTV.
“A child of this age is in search of autonomy even if he knows he is dependent on the adult. This is the age when he begins to say no,” psychologist Laure Westphal added.
The search for Émile has entered the second day and search dogs have been deployed on top of a helicopter in hopes of finding the child.