Oklahoma 2-year-old found dead half a mile from home after crawling out of bed in middle of the night

Ares Muse, 2, made it through three locking mechanisms in the Oklahoma family’s home before escaping, officials said

Johanna Chisholm
Tuesday 13 September 2022 18:00 BST
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A family has been left devastated and with few answers after they learned that their 2-year-old son, who managed to crawl out of bed late in the evening, was found dead half a mile from his home in Oklahoma.

Local authorities reported Monday that 2-year-old Ares Muse was suspected to have escaped from his family home in Okemah, located about 70 miles east of Oklahoma City, sometime between 1.30am and 6.30am that morning.

The child was dressed in black pyjamas with dinosaurs when he was last seen by his father in the early hours of Monday morning, a note he was able to provide to agencies the next morning because the toddler had crawled into bed with his parents just hours before going missing, KOTV reported.

When the father awoke, however, he realised that his young son wasn’t home and had somehow managed to get through three of the home’s locking mechanisms, the Department of Public Safety told the news outlet.

The child’s disappearance kicked off a search that would tap over 20 agencies, including federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement, trooper Eric Foster with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol told local news reporters during an interview. The boy’s home was on tribal land, the Kansas City Star reported.

Ares Muse, 2, was found dead half a mile from his family home in Oklahoma after he was reported missing 12 hours earlier (GoFundMe)

Around 12 hours after the initial search crews were deployed, a team from Pontotoc County and Colgate Fire found the child’s body, located just over half a mile from where he’d first been reported missing.

“We talked all day long about wanting a good outcome, and we didn’t get that,” said Jason Salsman, press secretary with Muscogee Creek Nation, a press briefing, according to the Kansas City Star.

“It’s unfortunate, but that doesn’t take away from the effort and from how we need to be there in our hearts and minds for this family.”

Authorities have not released information about how the child died and said that the investigation into his death remains open.

After the multi-agency search had concluded, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol commended all the individuals, which included law enforcement agencies and first responders as well as locals, for the coming together to assist in trying to find the missing boy.

“This is how we operate in Oklahoma,” said Mr Foster during a press briefing. “We hate to be able to give news like this, it’s very unfortunate. But we do come together … And we had a lot of citizens reach out as well wanting to help, and that’s just Oklahoma and we are proud to be a part of that.”

A GoFundMe for the deceased child’s parents has been opened up by one of his grandmothers, Brandi Gaither, with the proceeds of the online fundraiser going towards helping the parents pay for the child’s funeral expenses.

“Ares was a sweet boy. Just short of his 3rd birthday,” wrote the child’s grandmother. “He loved his mom, dad and sister very much and was a second son to his aunt. The [h]ole that is left in all our hearts will never be filled.”

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