A 9-year-old boy named Jace Landon Lyon ran away from his home at 1611 W Moore Rd in Hillsdale, Michigan sometime after 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18th.
The Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department received a call at 9:04 p.m. Wednesday night, after his mother returned home from work and her son wasn’t there.
That night, Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Deputies along with Michigan State Police troopers and their K-9 unit, searched every inch of the home, and searched several blocks around the house, deputies even went door-to-door with Jace’s picture, until late into early Thursday morning, when they stopped in order to regroup and continue later that morning during the day light.
Around midnight, the Hillsdale County 911 had sent out a Code Red alert to the residents of Hillsdale. The boy was described as 4’2″ tall, 55 lbs, light brown hair, brown eyes and possibly wearing a bright blue coat with bright yellow on the front.
Shortly after that, the sheriff’s department issued a press release with the boy’s picture. Most news outlets across the state reported on it and it was being shared all across social media.
Thursday morning, Sheriff Tim Parker organized a coordinated search involving sheriff’s deputies & mounted division, state troopers, DNR units, K-9 units, a Michigan State Police helicopter, Hillsdale City Police and Hillsdale College Security.
That searched lasted for hours into late afternoon. Jace could not be found. Police interviewed friends of Jace’s, and checked into the boy’s biological family. The sheriff’s department had no leads, no tips.
Around 5:30 p.m Thursday evening, the Southern Michigan K-9 Search and Response Unit arrived with their bloodhound. They were unable to pick up on the boy’s scent.
And then at 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening, Sheriff Tim Parker requested the help of community for a search party that would begin at 9:00 a.m. Friday morning.
At 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning, hundreds of people arrived at the Field of Dreams ready to help. Sheriff Parker briefed us, led a prayer, and divided us into groups.
There were 3 groups of about 60 people who performed grid searches in the areas around the home. These groups were bused to various locations. Other groups of people were tasked with road walking. We were all instructed to look for anything out of the ordinary.
Searches went on throughout the day. When a group finished one block, they were bused to a different location to start another search.
Many local businesses stepped up as well. Back at the Field of Dreams, various businesses had dropped off food like donuts, pizza and granola bars, and drinks like water, hot chocolate, and coffee. Those were some very kind people who helped out with that.
Searches when on all day Friday but there was still no trace of Jace Lyon.
And then at 6:50 p.m., a homeowner on N. Hillsdale Rd, less then a mile away from Jace’s home, finds Jace hiding out in their basement, calls the sheriff’s department, deputies arrive, and 9-year-old Jace Landon Lyon is found safe!
The homeowner had no connection to Jace, and was unaware that Jace was hiding in the basement. It unknown how long he was hiding there, but authorities suspect that he was there the entire time.
The bigger story here is how well our law enforcement and community responded. Knowing that we have a sheriff who’s very good at his job, seeing all the people who volunteered to search, and everyone who shared Jace’s picture on social media, really makes you proud to be a part of this community.
PHOTO CREDIT: Corey Murray/Hillsdale Daily News