ACTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A missing 5 year-old is safe after being found by Maine Search and Rescue Dog (MESARD) handler Dorothy Smail and her dog Tala around 2:20 a.m. Monday morning.
York County Officers confirm Christopher Grecco was found about a half a mile from where he was last seen in Acton in a wooded area near Hopper road.
Grecco was reunited with his family and taken to the hospital to be checked out.
Grecco is from New Jersey and was reported missing Sunday evening after he was separated from his family while hiking off of Hussey Hill Road.
According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Grecco's relatives realized he was missing around 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening and searched for him for several hours before calling York County Sheriff's Office around 8:00 p.m. to report the 5 year-old missing.
Smail says her dog Tala found Grecco and then alerted her. She told NEWS CENTER it was a very exciting moment when she found the boy.
Smail says Grecco was lying down in the woods when they found him. Smail says she introduced herself and notified Game Wardens they had found him. Grecco told Smail he was playing dead because he thought Tala, her dog, was a fox and he was frightened.
Smail says the boy was wet, tired and hungry but otherwise alright.
Smail says this is her and her dogs first find and she is very proud of her dog Tala.
Maine Game Wardens, along with York County Deputies, the Maine State police, Acton Fire department and York County EMA all helped in the search.
Canine teams from the Maine Warden Service, a bloodhound team from New Hampshire, and Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MESARD) volunteer K9 team were all on hand to aid in the search.
Maine Wardens Service officials are using this incident to remind people to stay together while hiking and to stay on marked trails.
They recommend looking for a lost person for about 15 to 20 minutes and then calling the Maine Warden Service so that professional search resources and management can get started to find the person.