Fear and worry were replaced with hugs and smiles as soon as two year-old Michael Gray was back in his parents arms. More than 150 troopers, firemen and volunteers had been searching the woods around his Spafford home for more than three hours.
"The amount of support that was here helping is overwhelming. Beautiful," said his mother Kim Gray.
The area of Spafford where the Grays live is near the south end of Skaneateles Lake and surrounded by a heavily wooded area.
Michael's father, John Gray, is a state trooper. His parents were optimistic Michael would be returned home safely but they also knew how difficult a search could be.
Michael is autistic. When Kim Gray realized he had gotten away shortly after noon, she was terrified that Michael wouldn't be able to help the rescuers find him.
"Where do I look first? He can't communicate, you don't know how far he can go, what he's capable of," said Kim Gray.
Ultimately it was trooper Joe House's incredible hearing that found Michael about a quarter mile from his home.
"A trooper was driving in that area, overheard crying and stopped immediately, turned off his car to hear it better. Heard more crying, got out of his car and about a hundred yards in found him sitting by a log," said trooper Jack Keller.
The Grays are new to Spafford and were overwhelmed with emotion as they thanked all the emergency crews and volunteers for their help. Michael had a few scratches and cuts but no serious injuries.