A six-year-old boy with Down syndrome who went missing from his rural family home has been found.
Ben Dean was reported missing by his distressed parents after he disappeared from their Chiltern Road property in Beechworth in Victoria’s north-east around 5pm on Wednesday.
The little boy was found just after 11am on Thursday morning one kilometre away from his home after spending the night in freezing, wet conditions, with temperatures dropping as low as eight degrees.
Ben’s cousin, Michelle Drinnan confirmed the good news to Daily Mail Australia.
‘Ben has been found, cold but ok. Family wants to thank police, SES, and the amazing volunteers. We are all incredibly grateful.’
Ms Drinnan added that the family were incredibly relived to find the little boy ‘cold with low temperature, but safe.’
‘Words can’t describe.’
Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia that the six year-old is ‘now being assessed by paramedics.’
Police, SES and CFA members failed to find the six-year-old in an earlier search of Ben’s parents large rural property.
Additional resources such as the Air Wing, K9 and Search and Rescue assisted local police.
Sergeant Geoff Still from Victoria Police had told the ABC a large number of local community people were involved in the search.
‘It’s very rugged terrain, very hilly, very slippery, very muddy. It’s rained all night here and we are very concerned about him.’
Police, SES and CFA members failed to find the six-year-old in an intial search of Ben’s parent’s large rural property in Beechworth (pictured)
His recovery comes as floods engulf Victoria and the state’s SES Commissioner Craig Lapsley had raised concerns over the welfare of the six-year-old as well as an 88-year-old man who has also been reported missing.
‘There have been a number of incidents and a number of rescues, 17 rescues have had to be made by emergency services personnel by those caught in flood waters,’ Mr Lapsley said before Ben was located.