When the parents of a three-year-old kid discovered he’d gone missing from his Florida home, they were terrified.
A Ponce de León resident with autism, Marshal Butler, went missing on June 3, 2020, sparking a desperate police search. The toddler was last seen wearing only a diaper and with the two family dogs, Nala and Buckwheat, which provided only minor consolation to the family.
Marshal was eventually found in the safety of the family dogs, who had refused to leave his side after hours of searching, according to WJHG.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office issued a Facebook appeal pleading with the public to keep an eye out for him.
According to the post, “The child was last spotted wearing only a diaper,” which adds that a K9 team has been summoned to assist with the search.
It was a terrifying time for Marshal’s family, who knew he wouldn’t be able to speak with anyone he met due to his autism.
Kayla Stewart, Marshal’s aunt, claimed the family was “terrified” after learning of the toddler’s disappearance.
“We were terrified,” she admitted to WJHG. “They’re thinking through all kinds of worst-case scenarios in their brains.”
Marshal, thankfully, was discovered about a mile away from his home, near a river. He was smeared in dirt but otherwise unharmed, and he was accompanied by the family dogs, who had obviously refused to leave him alone.
“Both of his dogs were right there with him,” Carol Shelton, a neighbor, said. “[We’re] grateful that the pups sort of guided him along, and I think they kept him safe.”
Marshal’s family stated that they were happy to get Marshal back and were very proud of their two faithful pups who assisted in keeping him safe.
“They’re doing their job,” Marshal’s mother explained.
Marshal was discovered safe, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office.
The tweet, which also stated that the boy’s pets stayed with him, has already gone viral, garnering over 3,000 reactions and 1,500 shares.
One user said she was “so relieved to hear that he was found safe,” It’s even better that his dog was discovered alongside him!” He had been guarding him the entire time. Dogs are such affectionate creatures!”
I’m very delighted. Marshal’s dogs stayed by his side and he was recovered safely. Dogs are amazing creatures. Please let me know if you agree.