The 3-year-old went missing Saturday.
While he was outside, Langlade County Sheriff Bill Greening told the Wausau Daily Herald, the young boy had made his way into a cornfield. As authorities and residents in the Wisconsin community scrambled to find the child, Tom Andraschko asked his wife whether he should head out to help, too.
“I asked my wife if she thought I should come this morning if they needed any help,” he told WBAY, an ABC affiliate. “She said, ‘Well, if it were your kids, how many people would you want to come?’ So I came right away.”
Andraschko, a father of two, was the volunteer who on Sunday found the boy, who was reportedly sitting on the ground, cross-legged and afraid but apparently unharmed after being lost for about 20 hours.
“Didn’t really register really how amazing it was,” Andraschko told the station. “Just glad that he was sitting up, and he looked safe, and he was fine. He was just scared. Very scared yet.”
But Andraschko was hardly the only volunteer who searched for the child, identified as Dyton Logalbo. Hundreds turned out to help in the effort, which began Saturday evening and stretched into Sunday.
“We’d like to thank the Deerbrook, Antigo and area community for their incredible help, support, love and prayers,” Dyton’s father, Troy Logalbo, told WBAY. “We are profoundly touched.”
Their support was “incredible,” Greening, the sheriff, told the Antigo Times, speaking of the search effort. “It was amazing.”
Greening said in a phone interview Tuesday that authorities received a call about the missing boy on Saturday evening. When they responded to the scene, they discovered a farmhouse with a large field behind it.
Dyton’s mother told deputies that she was outside that afternoon, working in the garden. She noticed Dyton walking into the field. She tried to call for him and then search for him herself, but wasn’t successful.
Crews used drones, K-9 teams and helicopters to look for the child, Greening said. Volunteers and authorities searched overnight, without any luck. When the search resumed Sunday, hundreds more volunteers arrived, ready to help.
“I think it’s phenomenal, and I would say, the vast majority of these people, probably 75 percent or greater, had no idea who this family was, did not know this family, did not know the child that was missing, or the parents,” he said. “They just showed up because they heard somebody needed help. I think that says a lot for the character of the people who live in our community.”
About 100 volunteers were involved in the overnight search on Saturday, and an estimated 500 showed up to help Sunday, Greening said.
“I can honestly say, our community has always stepped forward and always been very willing to help their neighbors and help people in crisis or in need of help,” he said. “That’s been shown numerous times in the past. But in this particular case . . . these people just started showing up to assist based on what they saw on social media or what they heard from friends or relatives. The turnout was tremendous.”
Greening said Dyton was cold, wet and hungry but physically okay when he was located. He was taken to a hospital to be examined but was released later that day. Authorities believe he went into the field at around 2 p.m. on Saturday, and wasn’t found until around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
“There were so many people that turned out to help and it took hundreds of people to find him,” Andraschko, the volunteer who found the child, told WAOW. “That wasn’t one guy walking through the cornfield.”