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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Missing Cumbrian schoolboy was found up a tree

The father of a missing schoolboy whose disappearance sparked a full-scale search operation has thanked the rescuers who found him.

Police officers came across 12-year-old Sam Prosser in a tree at Coombs Wood, Armathwaite, on Wednesday night.

He was less than half a mile from home, and unhurt.

The discovery ended a search that began 12 hours earlier when Sam, a pupil at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, was reported missing.

His father, psychiatrist Dr David Prosser, said: “We are very grateful for all the support from the police and mountain rescue teams, and the local community for their help in finding him safe and well.”

Dr Prosser and his wife Jenny heard Sam moving around the house early on Wednesday.

But when they got up, he had vanished.

The search involved police officers, divers, three mountain rescue teams, and search and rescue dogs.

Sixty people were deployed at one point.

The youngster was reunited with his family on Wednesday night.

Inspector Dave Willetts, of Cumbria Police’s Eden policing team, co-ordinated the search.

He said: “We were concerned because he is a 12-year-old, he was missing for some time and hadn’t done anything like this before.

“It’s a very rural location, he was on foot and knew the woods well, so that’s where we concentrated the search.

“We knew he hadn’t gone to school. His parents were very concerned and worried.”

Police issued a photograph and description of Sam and appealed to the public for information.

Penrith, Patterdale and Kirkby Stephen mountain rescue teams, aided by nine search and rescue dogs, began a methodical sweep of woodland near the boy’s home, a mile outside Armathwaite.

Meanwhile divers searched the River Eden.

Mike Hill, team leader of Penrith Mountain Rescue Team, said: “He was found up a tree safe and well with no problems at all, and returned to his parents. Hopefully, he has learned from the experience.”

 

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