Parenthood
Missing 3-year-old boy lost in desert hears stranger’s voice yelling his name
His parents feared the worst when their son suddenly disappeared from their side in the desert.
Cherie Gozon
11.04.22

A lost child is every parent’s worst nightmare, especially if you lose them in a foreign place or the wilderness. There are many possible outcomes, but a parent would only wish for one: they will find their child safe and sound.

Unsplash - Andrew Getslower
Source:
Unsplash - Andrew Getslower

The parents of a three-year-old boy were frantic and already thought of the worse when he was nowhere to be found. Good thing an entire community helped them in their search for their son.

Rockhounding Turned Bad

The Wilsons were supposed to go out for some family fun, and they headed to Beaver Country near Minersville to rockhounding. Sondra and Xavier thought this would be a great family activity keeping their kids active while learning about the rocks they would find.

YouTube Screenshot - KSL News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KSL News

They didn’t expect how their rockhounding adventure would go wrong when they realized their three-year-old son was nowhere in sight. Maurice, also known as Momo, walked off and was nowhere to be found.

The Worst that Could Happen

Sondra kept calling out for Momo, but when no one called back, she couldn’t help but think of the worst that could happen.

“(Momo) should be able to hear me, and so I was like, ‘he has fallen and broken his neck, and he is dead already. Like that’s what happened. And I was like, ‘that’s probably the truth, but I have to hope that it’s not,” Sondra recalled her thoughts with KSL News.

YouTube Screenshot - KSL News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KSL News

They called the authorities and the Beaver County Search and Rescue to help. Plus, hundreds more people in the community searched for Momo all night.

A Volunteer’s Gut Feeling

Dillon Bell was in the area when he heard of the missing three-year-old boy. He and his brother-in-law planned to go deer hunting, but all that changed. Instead, they volunteered to help search for Momo.

YouTube Screenshot - KSL News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KSL News

A father of three girls, Dillon said he took his kids at that exact spot before, so the Wilsons’ situation hit close to home. He knew he had to help them find their boy because he would feel the same devastation had it been one of his children.

Unsplash - Anne Nygård
Source:
Unsplash - Anne Nygård

Dillon and his brother-in-law let the night pass. They strategized on what they’d do to help find Momo.

YouTube Screenshot - KSL News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KSL News

Come daybreak, they asked the authorities which areas they hadn’t searched yet. Other volunteers were heading East, but Dillon had a weird gut feeling to go the other direction.

“It was one of the craziest feelings,” Bell told FOX13 Salt Lake City. “It was something I will never forget for the rest of my life, just the craziest emotions you could think of.”

Finding Maurice

He kept walking East, calling out for Momo. That’s when he heard a faint voice calling back to him. He kept walking, and that’s when he saw a boy with pink boots that matched Momo’s description.

YouTube Screenshot - KSL News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KSL News

Dillon saw the missing toddler, carried him back down the hill, and drove to the staging area. The young boy said he was cold and scared. The paramedics then took care of Momo and were glad to see that he was okay – no frostbite, hypothermia, or injuries.

YouTube Screenshot - KSL News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KSL News

Sondra and Xavier were thankful for the community who helped them in the 15-hour search, especially Dillon, who took their son back to safety.

Watch the full story of Momo’s search below. Share this story to parents you know who also loved to go on hiking trips with their family.

By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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