Boy missing for 24 hours survives below-freezing temps - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

'Miracle': Boy missing for 24 hours survives below-freezing temps

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Cole Evans Cole Evans
Cole with dad Kyle (Photo: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) Cole with dad Kyle (Photo: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)
(Photo: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) (Photo: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

It's an amazing story with a happy ending. A 7-year-old boy who disappeared in the freezing cold of northern Arizona is found 24 hours later.

How could he survive such cold weather for so long?

We've seen this before... a youngster goes missing in the rural areas of Arizona. Despite incredible efforts by everyone to find them, the outcome is not good. But this time we caught a break.

It could be dubbed the hug felt 'round the world. This picture taken Sunday of Kyle Evans embracing his 7-year-old son right after searchers brought Cole back safely to his grandma's house in Seligman.

Searchers Janet and Bill Pope spotted Cole Sunday morning sitting on the porch of this abandoned trailer.

"As soon as he saw us he jumped up and ran towards us," says Janet Pope.

Cole, who has a form of autism, was about a mile and half from his Grandma's house in Seligman.

Saturday morning he went out to play, and it was as if he just vanished into the Arizona wilderness. With temperatures dipping to 15 degrees overnight Saturday in the area, many wonder how Cole survived outside in the temps below freezing for 24 hours.

"I'm amazed I can't believe how good of shape he was in, he was happy, he wasn't scared," says Bill Pope.

Dr. Robert Fromm of Maricopa Medical Center says you can see two very important reasons for Cole's survival in this picture -- his coat and his boots.

"It made a great difference. Miraculous story in some ways, that he came out as far as we understand, in perfectly good health," says Dr. Robert Fromm.

Some speculate the child was possibly frightened by the sound of search helicopters and kept moving, which kept his body from losing heat.

Mother Nature was also on Cole's side Saturday night.

"Didn't rain on him, didn't snow on him… so the elements despite being cold may have been working for him because it was dry," says Dr. Fromm.

The doctor says 800 people die from hypothermia in this country every year -- most commonly the very old and the very young.

There were many things working in Cole's favor -- it's a miracle he's okay.

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