Boy, 4, is reunited with his parents 24 hours after he went missing on a rural farm – as rescuers reveal the first thing he did when he saw them
- Four-year-old Jean Patrick Eveleigh went missing from his home on Saturday
- The family were visiting their Waterholes home in East Gippsland at the time
- It was the first time the family were able to inspect damages after bushfires
- Jean was declared missing 1.30pm Saturday but was found just 24 hours later
A four-year-old boy who went missing on a fire-ravaged rural property was reunited with his parents 24 hours after he disappeared.
Jean Patrick Eveleigh was last seen at his family’s 35-hectare property in Waterholes, in Victoria’s East Gippsland region about 1.30pm Saturday.
The property had been completely ravaged by bushfires around New Year’s and the family was given the chance to inspect the damage.
Jean Patrick Eveleigh (pictured with his mother) was last seen at his family’s 35-hectare property in Waterholes, in Victoria’s East Gippsland region about 1.30pm Saturday
Jean disappeared as they were looking at the property, sparking a major search operation with more than 200 police and emergency service workers looking for him.
Helicopters, thermal drones, the dog squad and the defence force were also called in to to assist in the search, 7NEWS.com.au reported.
But on Sunday the four-year-old was found by two rescuers in bushland almost 2km away from the family home.
One of the rescuers, Troy Soughen, said he was yelling out for Jean when they found him hiding in a bush.
‘Walking along yelling out his name … all of a sudden we hear this little voice back “I’m over here. He popped his head out over the bushes and there he was,’ Mr Soughen said.
Mr Soughen said the first thing Jean did was drink a 500ml bottle of water.
‘He skulled it within three seconds I think, and proceeded to chat our ear off the whole way back here,’ the rescuer said.
The property had been completely ravaged by bushfires around New Year’s and the family was given the chance to inspect the damage
An alert for Jean was issued on Saturday after he disappeared off the family’s 35ha property
The four-year-old was emotional as he was reunited with his mother after spending the night alone among charred trees and burnt-out bushland.
Victoria Police Acting Inspector Peter Fusinato said Jean was happy to be back with his family.
‘When he met his parents that was obviously an emotional moment he hadn’t seen them for some time,’ he said.
Jean was taken to Bairnsdale Hospital on Sunday where doctors confirmed he was in full health.