YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A 5-year-old boy who had been reported missing early Saturday morning in Youngstown has been found and reunited with his family, thanks to a neighborhood effort.
Gage Wymer’s family reported him missing from a camper in their backyard, where they had been camping. When his mother woke up at 2:45 a.m., she found her son’s bed empty and immediately called police.
Police spent the morning searching the neighborhood with drones and dogs. The entire neighborhood also joined in on the effort.
“I had gotten a call from my aunt who lives next door to me, telling me Gage was missing,” said neighbor Michelle Burton. “It was around 2:30, 3, somewhere around there. I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and I’ve been out here ever since.”
Another neighbor, Bill Bowser, said people searching the area rang their doorbell around 3 a.m.
Bowser lives next door and said Gage comes over to his house all the time.
“That’s my little buddy,” he said.
Nearly eight panic-filled hours passed, and as more time went on, the more desperate they were to find him.
“I went down toward the creeks and stuff, was looking down there, family and I both. Nothing. We even went through tunnels,” Burton said.
Neighbors found Gage two blocks away asleep on a porch on Detroit Avenue, unharmed.
It seems he walked there barefoot in just a diaper and t-shirt.
“They were all over there talking to him, holding him until the ambulance got there,” said Brent Wymer, Gage’s brother.
Friends, family, neighbors and even strangers all breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“The whole neighborhood is happy,” Bowser said.