Search for young missing boy

On Monday, 23 August 2021, our member organisation Thailand Rescue Dog Asso­ciation (Thai-RDA) received a call-out to search for a 4-year-old boy who had gone missing 5 days earlier from a Cement Sta­tion Workers’ Camp, whilst his mother slept. CCTV footage indicated that the boy had not left the area surrounding the Camp. The key point of interest was a 5m x 15m ce­ment well, directly opposite the hut where the young boy stayed with his family.

Thai-RDA deployed four search and res­cue dogs, including some canines spe­cial­ly trained to search for human remains. They searched the camp and surrounding area, three water holes and the cement well. The main cement well was fully op­era­tion­al with cement trucks unloading their residual ce­ment from construction work directly into the well throughout the five days that the boy had been missing. It also remained ac­tive throughout the search mission, with op­era­tions halting only briefly while each dog carefully checked the perimeter of the well. Har­nesses were worn by all dogs during search­ing for safety around the highly con­tami­nat­ed and dangerous cement wells.

The search strategy from the outset was for the dogs to check the well, and if no alert was given, have a back-hoe digger carefully remove layers of cement waste and then have the dogs re-check the ce­ment well at intervals. However, during the active back-hoe removal process, the boy’s deceased body was seen by one of Thai-RDA’s dog han­dlers, buried deeply under the heavy cement waste.

Our thoughts are with the young boy’s family.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Thai-RDA search and rescue dog teams, for whom it was a particularly challenging mission due to the prevailing circumstances as well as the current COVID-19 regu­la­tions.

Photos: Thai-RDA