No sign of missing toddler in Magoffin County, according to officials
The search for a missing 22-month-old Magoffin County boy who went missing Sunday night has now widened, as his father is offering a reward for his safe return.
Kentucky State Police is now handling the missing person’s case of Kenneth Howard, a blonde-hair, blue-eyed boy who went missing around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Crews found no sign Monday of the boy, who got out of his home through the back door when his father was sitting on the front porch, said Robert Prater, director of Magoffin County Emergency Management and a friend of the family.
Search dogs were out with the Magoffin County Rescue Squad until around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to Ritt Mortimer, public information officer for the rescue squad. There is still an active search on the ground for Kenneth, he added.
The area of the search, which was a half-mile radius of the home, has been widened to include an old, overgrown mining operation that is behind the home. The initial area was canvassed a couple of times Monday, said Robert Prater, director of Magoffin County Emergency Management and a friend of the family.
It is not being investigated as a criminal case, but Kentucky State Police spokesperson William Petry said as more time passes, it could become one.
“There’s no evidence of any foul play at this time, but like any case, it could take a turn,” he said.
“Kidnapping is kind of odd in that rural area, but we aren’t ruling it out,” Petry added.
State police are also conducting interviews to find out if people saw anything suspicious that could lead to Kenneth’s rescue, according to Petry.
Elden Howard, Kenneth’s father, is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who returns his son, he told WYMT.
“I would just like to see him come home safe,” Elden Howard told WYMT Tuesday morning. “I guess it’s adrenaline. I can’t rest, can’t eat. I’ve ate one bologna sandwich since Sunday.
After the initial search for Kenneth spanned around 24 hours, the search halted in the a.m. hours Tuesday as the manpower had depleted, Petry said. State police units resumed the search Tuesday with still no sign of the young boy.
The search has included multiple search dogs, helicopters, off-road vehicles and drones with thermal cameras, according to the rescue squad.
Elden Howard told WYMT it’s like Kenneth just disappeared.
“No sign, no nothing,” Elden Howard said. “That’s the reason I’m starting to think, if we can’t find him, somebody’s picked him up.”