Unable to speak due to autism, 7-year-old Isaac Sprague was at the center of an intense search Thursday.
As day turned to night, search teams scoured the remote land between Stanislaus and Merced Counties for eight hours after he disappeared.
Issac was found that evening. He could be heard crying, submerged in a foot of water in the Merced River and surrounded by steep and rugged terrain.
“The fact that they got them, found him,” Michael Sprague, Isaac’s grandfather, told FOX40. “You can’t even comprehend the feeling when you look everywhere and you can’t find them.”
Sprague says he lives nearby and was in the wooded area working. His grandson was by his side one minute and gone the next, he was gone.
“You leave him and he always stays right where you put him,” Sprague said.
Isaac, though scared and cold, will get to spend more time with his grandfather when things could very well have gone differently.
“When it started getting dark, oh boy. That’s what I was afraid of that he would get close to a pond or river,” Sprague said.
Even Sheriff’s deputies didn’t expect this outcome.
“In 25 years of doing this, I’m happy to say this child is alive and well,” B.J. Jones, of the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, said.