Homosassa, FL–The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office shared on its Facebook page this afternoon that four juveniles were separated from their parents in the Chassahowitza campground as temperatures were falling.
Below was the initial Facebook post that alerted the Citrus County community:
“The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Patrol, Aviation, K-9, Volunteer Bloodhound units and FWC are currently searching the Chassahowitzka Campground in Homosassa for four missing juveniles who are believed to be somewhere in the woods. The children were exploring around their campsite after arriving there with their families earlier today. If you come in contact with these children, or have any information about their whereabouts, please contact 911 immediately. Thank you for your assistance!
Female, Jade, Age 9, wearing a purple coat
Male, Rocket, Age 8, wearing navy Blue hoodie
Male, Jasper, Age 7, wearing gray sweatpants
Male, Aidan, Age 9, wearing green two-tone windbreaker”
During the few hours the children were missing, hundreds came forward to offer assistance in the search and rescue efforts.
At approximately 7 PM, CCSO responded to those who volunteered to assist in the search on its Facebook page with the following message:
“UPDATE: We appreciate everyone sharing the information about the four missing juveniles and we realize in these types of situations people want to come to the scene and volunteer to help search. But we are asking everyone to wait for us to make that decision to bring in volunteers. We do not want to put anyone is harms way and risk more people getting lost or injured. We have dozens of trained law enforcement officials and several specialty units looking for these young children. We appreciate everyone’s support. Again – if you see any of these children pictured below – Please call 911 immediately!”
Thankfully, the children were found by nearby local fisherman.
CCSO confirmed, “Thank God the children were found by nearby fishermen on the Chassahowitzka River. They are okay however three of the four are showing signs of hypothermia and are being treated by Nature Coast EMS. “I want to thank the wonderful people of this great community for all of their support during this ordeal,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “We are very blessed to have such dedicated First Responders along with volunteers who came out to help search for these children. What a great blessing to live in a place like this.”
Submitted by Lou Newman, Publisher, on December 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM, Updated 7:59 PM
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