Missing Juvenile From Beaver Dam Area Found Safe

(Beaver Dam) A missing juvenile from the Beaver Dam-area was found safe Sunday night. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office received report of the missing 14-year-old just before 7pm who left Chrystal Lake Park. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the high-functioning special needs child left the area about an hour before this was reported to law enforcement. After a brief search, the Dodge County’s Child Abduction Response Team was activated to assist. Beaver Dam Fire, Rescue, and Police were also requested to help. A thorough search of the area was conducted, then expanded utilizing drones, a K9-team, and as Schmidt says (quote) “good old fashion boots on the ground.” He says Beaver Dam Fire was instrumental and through their efforts they obtained tips from the public, which indicated that the 14-year-old had walked to the Wild Goose Trail near Highway 33 and Highway 26. Schmidt says the child walked into a cornfield which complicated the search further. UTV’s were deployed with lighting equipment. The sheriff says at 9:58pm deputies located the 14-year-old in a tree stand in the middle of the cornfield and he was quickly returned to his worried parents. Schmidt says this was an excellent example of cooperative efforts of multiple agencies and resources coming together to locate the child safely. He says the family thanked everyone who responded along with those who provided information to the public. Schmidt also recognized the communications officers and dispatchers who coordinated resources.

Read the sheriff’s full press release:

At 6:48 pm on July 25, 2021, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing 14-year-old who had left Crystal Lake Beach Park in the Town of Beaver Dam. The high-functioning special needs child left the area about an hour before this was reported to law enforcement.

After a brief search, Dodge County’s Child Abduction Response Team (CART) was activated to assist with the search. This team is a well-trained unit created in Dodge County to respond to missing children incidents so we can locate them quickly. The team brings resources from law enforcement and fire agencies in the county. In addition, the Beaver Dam Fire, Rescue, and Police were requested to assist. A thorough search of the area was conducted and then expanded utilizing the sheriff’s office drones, the Beaver Dam Police Department drone, one of the sheriff’s office K9 Teams, and good old fashion boots on the ground. Beaver Dam Fire was instrumental in the search and through their efforts we obtained tips from the public which sent the search in the right direction. Eventually, a tip was received that the subject had walked to the Wild Goose Trail near State Highway 33 and State Highway 26. The subject then walked into a cornfield which complicated the search further.

The Juneau and Horicon Fire Departments along with the Juneau Police Department joined our search efforts. The sheriff’s office UTV along with the Horicon and Juneau Fire Department UTVs were deployed along with fire department lighting equipment. At 9:58 pm, sheriff’s deputies located the subject in a tree stand in the middle of the cornfield and he was returned quickly to his worried parents.

This is an example of excellent cooperative efforts of multiple agencies and resources coming together to locate this individual safely. The family would very much like to thank everyone who responded along with those who provided information in the public on locating their son. Also, Sheriff Dale Schmidt would like to express on behalf of the family, “This is a very difficult situation that no parent ever wants to find themselves in, however, our community is made up of outstanding public servants and good Samaritans who helped to resolve this situation quickly and helped to bring a child back home safely. We couldn’t be prouder of the work done tonight by all.”

We of course must also mention that our communications officers in dispatch did a fantastic job of coordinating responding resources and needs as always. Finally, our Emergency Management Team also provided valuable assistance including the use of the Mobile Command Post. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is following up with the family to provide any further assistance needed both this evening and into the future.