Keydon lived in a small community called Top of the World, situated in Blount County, Tennessee. He used to play near his home since his parents never let him go further away. One day he didn’t come back home. It was past 6 p.m. in the evening. The parents were highly concerned since their son had always come home on time.
They assumed Kaydon was playing with his favorite terrier Chula near the home, but soon they saw there was no one around. The parents decided to alert the sheriff.
A missing child is the worst that can happen to any parent. It was their biggest nightmare. They couldn’t believe that their son has gone missing.
Kaydon’s parents were scared, but the Sheriff tried to calm them. He didn’t want them to think the worst.
The Tennesse Bureau Of Investigation appealed to the community to help find the boy. The parents provided all of Keydon’s details, including his weight, height, and clothing.
The search began immediately. The Sheriff used a military helicopter. A rescue team was working on the ground at the same time.
The situation was extensively publicized, and everyone rushed to find the boy. Everyone was ready to spend the night searching.
One of the local search volunteers told the WVLT News, “We’re a very tight community. We try to help everyone. I got a phone call about what was going on. I was coming up the mountain from work and just shot straight over and did everything I could to help.”
Megan Kessler, another resident in the area, took the initiative to help with the search.
“We knew it was going to be a long night,” she told WVLT News. “We brought coffee, chili, whatever they needed. We wanted to make sure we could supply it. They wouldn’t let us search, so we did what we could.”
The whole community was together with Kaydon’s parents. Everyone shared news and messages concerning the situation.
Parents were concerned and terrified. They had no idea that they would soon find their son and that he would not be alone.
Time was slipping away but no one wanted to give up. They firmly believed that Kaydon would be found.
People couldn’t imagine where he could have gone. And then they started to think like a child. It helped them to understand which places little boys liked to go to play, for example, woods or abandoned buildings. And they were right.
The community searched the perimeter of the woods and noticed something strange at one point.
There was a noise coming from the woods.
It sounded like a growl. Volunteers hoped it was a dog because there were treading in the forest and it was filled with a lot of dangerous animals.
Approaching where the sound was coming from, the people suddenly saw Kaydon! It was incredible. They couldn’t believe he’d been discovered. However, their enthusiasm did not last long because Kaydon was not alone.
Kaydon Leach was found roughly 22 hours after he went missing. One of the main factors that helped people find the boy was his faithful dog, Chula. “The dog growled at the rescuers when they approached Kaydon, so it is a protector,” claimed BCSO Chief Deputy Jeff French.
Keydon was in bad condition. He was dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt and stated he was “very cold.” The boy gave his address to the search team.
Responders decided to take Kaydon to Blount Memorial hospital for a checkup before returning him to his home. The parents were so happy to see their son alive. They couldn’t believe the courage of the dog, Chula.
Following the discovery of the boy, the family released a statement about Kaydon’s return. “We’re so thankful to everyone, from local law enforcement agencies to volunteers, who helped us find Kaydon. The amount of support we have received has been tremendous, even from people we don’t even know. We appreciate all our friends and neighbors and ask for privacy at this time,” wrote Kaydon’s parents.
This success story was shared across social media. “So glad he was found safe,” wrote one man on Facebook.
Another person said, “had the little guy on my mind since I found out he was lost. Something he can tell his grandkids, thank God.”
The sheriff was extremely grateful when Kaydon returned home. “I want to thank all these men and women who spent the last 20-something hours out here in the dark, the cold, and the rain,” he said.
“We had the FBI, TBI, Blount County Sheriff’s Department, Blount County Fire Department, Blount County Rescue Squad. It was a team effort and we couldn’t have done it without the help,” he added.
But the main hero in this story was Chula. She was the bravest dog anyone has ever heard of. She didn’t leave Kaydon’s side and guarded him for over 22 hours.
Dogs are indeed man’s best friends.
The community, police, and volunteers did an excellent job. They discovered and rescued a young boy from the dangers that lurked in the woods.
And Chula was one of them.