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Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft (front row, green shirt, kneeling, on the left) along with his deputies and others pose with 2-year-old Zachary Christopher Allen Outman, who was being held by his mother, Julie. The child went missing on the evening of Friday, July 3rd, 2020, and he was found walking down a hunting road and about 3 miles from his home.

It was a scary situation, but thankfully it had a happy ending. A young child who went missing in Vernon Parish was found safe after a search involving numerous law enforcement personnel and many others.

According to information from Sheriff Sam Craft and Detective Rhonda Jordan, 2-year-old Zachary Christopher Allen Outman was reported missing by his mother, Julie, at about 6:00 p.m. after he apparently walked away from a residence on Camp Baker Road, about 6 miles west of Leesville, and shortly after heavy thunderstorms has passed across the area.

Craft and Jordan said Vernon Parish deputies and a K-9 “Duke” responded, and they were soon joined by game wardens, state troopers, and paramedics, along with neighbors who volunteered to help in the search.

With the help of several people who lived in the area and were tracking the child’s footprints, they found him down a hunting lease road about 3 miles from his home.

Craft and Jordan said “He was transported back to the area of his residence and examined by emergency medical personnel. He was tired and ready for a popsicle (which he enjoyed in the ambulance), but otherwise in good shape and without injury.”

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