There are few things more horrifying to a parent than the thought of their child going missing. With no way of knowing where they are, who they’re with, or if they’re safe, it’s an absolute nightmare to even imagine.
Unfortunately, one Mississippi mother lived that nightmare when her two-year-old son, Williams, wandered out of the house in the middle of the night. A search was initiated as soon as he was discovered missing, but after it came up empty, things seemed hopeless.
Finally, authorities found his trail—but then they realized that William wasn’t alone…
Chelsea Nobel, 21, of Harrison County, Mississippi, woke up one night in October 2017 to a horrifying discovery: her two-year-old son, William, was not in his bed. In fact, he was completely missing.
At some point in the middle of the night, William had gotten up and wandered out of the house. Why he would do such a thing—and how—wasn’t entirely clear, but either way, his mother was beyond worried.
Absolutely frantic—and who could blame her?—Chelsea called the police and explained what happened. Almost immediately, a thorough search began throughout the entire county to locate the missing toddler.
The determined search party worked as hard as they possibly could, employing everything from ATVs courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks to K-9 units.
It wasn’t just the police who became involved, either. Neighbors and other volunteers stepped in to help as well. The search parties combed the woods, but they couldn’t seem to find a trace of William anywhere.
Even once the sheriff’s department started using helicopters to look for William from the sky, they still came up empty. For a long while, it really seemed as if the toddler had simply vanished into thin air.
Eventually, authorities stumbled across a tremendous lead that offered a whole lot of hope: they found a series of small footprints! They were definitely a toddler’s, and the likelihood that they belonged to William was high. This important discovery proved to be just the breakthrough they needed.
Yet there was another detail that surprised everyone: William’s footprints were accompanied by an additional set of footprints that belonged to a dog. This was encouraging news, as Chelsea and William’s dog, Jezebel, had also gone missing the night the boy disappeared. Evidence now suggested the two might be together…
The final piece of the puzzle was soon discovered when 10-year-old Blake Carroll was coming home from school and heard the horn on his uncle’s old truck beeping. Upon investigation, he noticed a dog circling the truck, trying to get inside. Then, much to Blake’s surprise, he discovered William inside the truck!
The authorities rushed to the scene as soon as they could, and the search was officially—and finally—concluded. Better yet, William was almost completely unharmed, save for a few scratches and bug bites.
Obviously, it was an emotional reunion between the boy and his tearful mother. As it so happened, William was recently tested for autism, as he’s mostly nonverbal. This was possibly why he didn’t respond when people called out his name during the search. It’s also why it was so important that Jezebel remained by his side.
Unfortunately, Chelsea was eventually charged with misdemeanor child neglect after investigators determined that she had not supervised William properly during the time that he wandered out of the house.
Meanwhile, Jezebel was praised by the sheriff’s department for protecting William throughout the night and refusing to leave his side for no less than seven hours! Clearly, she was a loyal and loving pup!
Whatever happens to William and Chelsea, the important part is that William is okay. It’s all thanks to the hardworking police and volunteers… and Jezebel!
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