***UPDATE Aug. 18 at 11:34 p.m.: Mackenzie Search and Rescue crews have confirmed that a four-year-old boy has been found this evening (Aug. 18).
After over 30 hours in the bush near Lions Lake, George Hazard-Benoit was found safely and uninjured as of 8 p.m.
Hundreds of local residents, volunteers, and Search and Rescue crews from across B.C.'s northern region descended on the area south of Highway 39 near Mackenzie.
One volunteer from the site posts on Facebook saying George was described as 'cold, wet, and hungry' when he was found.
He's been taken to hospital for further evaluation.
Mark Sankey, who claims to be a close friend to the boy's mother writes "there is not enough words and love I can send to each and every one of you who helped find this precious boy [ ...] all I have is a huge thank you to all."
Support is also pouring in on social media from local residents praising the community for coming together in the midst of an unnerving situation.***
According to B.C. Missing Report, four-year-old George Hazard-Benoit has not been seen since yesterday (Aug. 17) at around 12:30 p.m. near Lions Lake, which is located off Highway 39 south of Mackenzie.
Search and rescue crews have been deployed from Prince George, Mackenzie, and the North Peace division.
George is described as:
- Three-feet tall
- 35 pounds
“There were about 100 or more volunteers just from town and the Rangers are out there and the fire department and the RCMP,” reads the B.C. Missing Report. “If people want to help look for him tomorrow, if they still need us and I hope he’s found tonight, they need to have ID with them and can sign in at the Mackenzie Search and Rescue.”
In a Facebook post by family friend Tamara Wiese, George was last seen wearing camo boots and dark blue cargo pants.
Weather has become a factor in current difficulties with the search, according to local Mackenzie Facebook groups.
One post reads, “It is super wet out at Lyons Lake. I was out there with a group this morning, if your thinking of heading out there, pack extra clothes, dress accordingly, and expect to search a small area over a three-hour span. It's a long cold process. You'll also be tracking through heavily treed areas.”
Anyone with more information is asked to contact a local RCMP detachment.
The Prince George RCMP number is 250-561-3300.