The body of 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin was found Thursday afternoon after a grueling search for the boy that lasted 7 days.
According to The Jackson Sun, it was announced by Chester County Sheriff Blair Weaver at Pinson Baptist Church that searchers found Chamberlin’s body about a mile-and-a-half from where he was last seen during a walk with his grandmother and sister. He was discovered in a small clearing between 1 and 4 p.m.
Andy Morris, pastor of The Highlands in Chester County, said Noah’s family wants him to be remembered as a boy who brought a community together.
“And they’re asking right now that they have time to mourn and to love on each other as they go through this time of loss,” Morris said. “But at the same [time], they beg you to continue to pray and continue to keep this heart of service and heart of compassion for other people and other humans.”
It wasn’t revealed how the boy died or if it was due to him being in the cold winter elements, but authorities are calling what happened to Noah Chamberlin a “tragic accident.” An autopsy will be performed.
Searchers had to temporarily cease looking for the missing Tennessee toddler when terrain got too dangerous to walk on.
Madison County Sheriff John Mehr said scents picked up by tracking dogs led law enforcement to believe Noah hadn’t gone too far outside where searchers centered their focus – which was about a 1,000-acre area.
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According to NBC News, Weaver said things happened just the way Noah Chamberlin’s grandmother said they did.
“Just like grandma said, she turned her head for a minute and he was gone,” said Weaver. “There were trails everywhere.”
Mehr added that everyone he spoke with who knew the toddler said he loved to run and jump around. He also loved to hide and whenever adults ran after him, they “couldn’t catch him.”
Reports also state that Noah was found in an area that had been previously searched.
So far there are no funeral plans for Noah Chamberlin. Cards for the family can be sent to The Highlands Church, 5035 US 45, Finger, TN 38334.