A Good Samaritan who found a missing toddler safe three days after he vanished in Texas has recalled finding the naked youngster, as survival experts say the boy’s age may have helped keep him alive.
Tim Halfin has been revealed as the rescuer who discovered Christopher Ramirez, 3, in thick undergrowth around 10 years off Texas Highway 249, five miles from the toddler’s home, where he disappeared last Wednesday.
He gave an anonymous interview after finding Christopher, but has since come forward to share his identity and story in greater detail.
Halfin, speaking to Good Morning America on Monday, called the rescue a miracle and an act of divine intervention.
‘God laid it on my heart to go look, to reunite that boy with his mom,’ the Good Samaritan explained.
‘I don’t know what to make of it. All I know is he was found safe. When I picked him up he was still talkin’ — he wasn’t shaking, he wasn’t nervous. Maybe he just sensed “I’ve been found”…I don’t know.’
It remains unclear exactly how Ramirez managed to survive on his own.
The weather in Houston was extremely mild last week, and experts say the toddler’s age may actually have helped protect him from harm.
That is because very young children are less likely to worry about whether water they find is safe to drink, or to be scared of bugs on a tree they need to shelter under.
‘Kids 6 and younger have a better outcome being lost in the woods than kids 7 to 12 do,’ Ray McKee with Texas Survival School told KHOU.
Christopher Ramirez, 3, went missing last week after following a neighbor’s dog into the Texas woods. He is expected to be released from the hospital later Monday after he survived alone for nearly three days
‘They worry less about (if) the water looks bad or smells bad or maybe bugs are over in the log I am huddling by to stay out of the wind.
‘They are more concerned about meeting that immediate physical need. Whereas when kids get older, they start to process things a little bit more and start to think about things a little bit more.’
Hilary Fairbrother, associate professor of emergency medicine at UTHealth Houston, echoed McKee’s claims: ‘Children can pretty easily survive without food for a week, especially if they don’t have medical problems.
‘Most people can survive without water for a couple of days. But again, children have a less long amount of time that they can survive without water.’
McKee also noted that the weather was ‘almost perfect’ while Ramirez was missing.
‘Sheltering is a big deal but the weather was almost perfect for him. Super mild, not too hot during the day, not too cold at night,’ he said.
Ramirez (left) was found by a Good Samaritan — Tim Halfin (right) — in a thick, wooded area near Texas State Highway 249, located about five miles away from the boy’s home. Halfin said the rescue was a miracle and an act of divine intervention
Ramirez has been receiving treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands since his rescue, and is set to be released as early as Monday.
Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell told DailyMail.com that Ramirez was found ‘just in time.’
‘Thank goodness he wasn’t too dehydrated or his organs didn’t shut down,’ the sheriff said. ‘He is doing well. He is not in critical condition. They’re comfortable with his progress and he’ll be released soon.’
Sheriff Sowell added: ‘He can be whatever he wants — Coast Guard, Army Ranger, Navy SEAL, Air Force — when he grows up. He already passed the survival test. His guardian angel was looking down on him.’
Ramirez was reported missing on Wednesday afternoon from his home in Plantersville, prompting a multiple-day search involving law enforcement, the FBI and local volunteers.
He was found on Saturday around 11am after Halfin — who had only just learned about Ramirez’s disappearance while at a Bible study — began searching the woods near his property.
Ramirez was reported missing on Wednesday afternoon from his home in Plantersville, prompting a multiple-day search involving law enforcement, the FBI and local volunteers
The above map shows were Ramirez went missing from (Deer Park Lane) and where he was found (near Texas State Highway 249)
Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell (pictured) told DailyMail.com that Ramirez was found ‘just in time’ and that he is grateful the boy ‘wasn’t too dehydrated or his organs didn’t shut down’
Ramirez has been receiving treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands since his rescue
‘He was walking his property and heard this whimper, maybe a cry, and saw the little boy, took him into his arms and called in,’ Sowell said. ‘We responded with the mother and reunited them.’
The sheriff noted that Ramirez dehydrated, hungry and ‘wanted a Coke.’
In the days leading up to his rescue, hundreds of searchers look through the woods day and night. The sheriff says many did not eat or sleep knowing that Ramirez wasn’t eating or sleeping.
A police radio call, obtained by GMA, demonstrates the relief personnel felt when Ramirez was found.
‘The child was found alive. He is alive, he’s thirsty. He is with his mother and going to the hospital,’ an officer said.
‘Praise the Lord,’ a dispatcher answered.
The officer then replied: ‘Yes sir, yes sir.’
The Grimes County Sheriff’s Department is planning to escort Ramirez and his mother, Araceli Nunez, home after the boy’s release from the hospital.
Local law enforcement, firefighters and other search participants were invited to join the parade.
In the days leading up to his rescue, hundreds of searchers look through the woods day and night. The sheriff says many did not eat or sleep knowing that the boy wasn’t eating or sleeping
The Grimes County Sheriff’s Department is planning to escort Ramirez and his mother, Araceli Nunez, home after the boy’s release from the hospital. Local law enforcement, firefighters and other search participants were invited to join the parade