Local News

Franklin County Children Recovering At Home After Being Lost In Woods

Posted December 24, 2001 7:23 a.m. EST

— A four-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl who disappeared in Franklin County Thursday night are safe, warm and catching up on their sleep.

Linda Robertson spent a long night worrying about her missing grandchildren.

The two children, Zachary Kulkusky and Megan Shumate, were with their dog when they reportedly wandered away from their home while their grandmother was making dinner, just before 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The brother and sister, who live with their grandparents just north of Louisburg, apparently became lost.

"One of them (Zachary) had lost shoes, had some cold feet. They had evidentally had some training somewhere along the line to stay together and they stayed together and found them a place to hunker down throughout the night," said one official.

Rescuers searched the woods north of Highway 39 all night, and around 9 a.m., they heard a young voice call out to them.

"We got quiet and we stood still, heard 'em and started running, called their names again and stopped. I knew they were there. We came to a clearing, and there they stood," one rescuer said.

The two were found in a wooded area about 500-600 yards from the house.

Rescuers bundled up the kids and carried them out of the woods to a waiting ambulance.

The pair had spent 16 hours outside in sub-freezing temperatures. Rescuers said they were cold and shaking, but OK.

"If we hadn't had found them, we wouldn't be celebrating Christmas," said Robertson.

Doctors released the children Friday afternoon. Zachary will be able to spend his birthday at home. He will be 5 years old on Sunday.