Missing Children Safe at Home; Family Speaks Out

By: Kate Eckman Email
By: Kate Eckman Email

It's every parent's worst nightmare: their child disappears. That feeling was multiplied by three last night, when two brothers, a sister and one of their friends disappeared in Sunny Hills.

Washington County authorities say the four children went exploring in the woods near their home Thursday afternoon.

When they failed to show up around dinner time, worried parents called the sheriff's office. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

Eleven-year-old Trey Buntin says he was nervous, sad and scared.

When his three siblings, 10-year-old Eli, 14-year-old Ian, 16-year-old Cassandra, and their 14-year-old friend, Dalton got lost Thursday night, he courageously volunteered to help investigators find them.

He led search teams to an area where they all play, a densely wooded area known as the Mobile Swamp.

It took investigators about six hours, but shortly after 10:00 Thursday night, they found the missing kids.

"They were freaked out. They didn't think they were going to get out of there until tomorrow morning because they were going to wait for it to get light out again, to try to get their way out of there."

Kristin Buntin, the missing children’s mother said, "They didn't try to run away. They weren't rebellious children. They just went out to play after school, and while they were exploring they got lost, they got turned around."

When they got home?

"Everybody was just hugging, and I told them I love them," said Kristin. "They're lucky to be alive."

Trey and his mother Kristin say they're grateful to authorities.

"They worked really, really hard last night,” Kristin said. “They took it very seriously very quickly, and I couldn't have asked for them to do it any faster or any better. They never took it lightly. They took it very, very seriously."

But, one thing's for sure, "They're not going to be going out in the woods for a very long time," Kristin said.

Kristin, who did not want to appear on camera, told us the four lost kids huddled together to stay warm and spent a lot of time praying for someone to rescue them.


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