Search for 5-Year-Old Boy at Grand Canyon Ends in Every Parent's Vacation Nightmare

This is news no parent ever wants to hear. In a very sad turn of events, the body of 5-year-old Jerold Joseph Williams has been found that ends the search to find the little boy who wandered away from a campsite while chasing grasshoppers.


"Just about every search-and-rescue unit from every county in Arizona was involved," said sheriff’s spokesman Gerry Blair.

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Jerold was part of a group of 20 people who went on a camping trip last week at the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office reveals family of the Colorado City boy contacted them hours after he disappeared. Officials say this isn't unusual given many will try to search on their own before contacting authorities.

Facing inclement weather throughout the weekend along with a ton of ground to cover, over 500 searchers -- including state troopers, members of federal agencies, U.S. Forestry Service fire crews, and officials from nearby sheriff's departments -- did all they could to find little Jerold. At one point, the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada sent two helicopters to take the search to the sky.

Sadly, the search was called off when boys in the back of a truck spotted Jerold's body just off Forest Service Road. A preliminary autopsy revealed no evidence of foul play (or external injuries) and believes Jerold died an accidental death due to his environment.

Summer trips, let alone any vacation for that matter, provide a wonderful opportunity for families to strengthen their bond. Camping in particular is quite popular as many enjoy pitching tents, participating in outdoor activities, and satisfying their sweet tooth with dreamy s'mores. It's so unfortunate that memories like this end in disaster.

Jerold's story is a chilling reminder to us all how easy it is for children to wander off. All it takes is a second for your life to change. My heart breaks for this family and their loss. I can't imagine what this little boy felt all alone ...


Image via Coconino County Sheriff's Office/AZ Central

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