Boy who went missing during family camping trip found safe, Michigan officials say
UPDATE: An 8-year-old boy who went missing during a family camping trip in Michigan has been found safe, officials say.
Nante Niemi disappeared while walking back to his family’s campsite at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on Saturday, May 6, spurring a large-scale search effort involving authorities from Michigan and Wisconsin.
He was found two days later, on May 8, according to state park officials and Niemi’s school district.
Michigan State Police also confirmed the boy has been found, WLUC reported.
The original story continues below:
Authorities are scouring the wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula after an 8-year-old boy went missing during a family camping trip, news outlets report.
The boy, Nante Niemi, joined his family’s annual trip to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park for the first time, his mother, Jessica Buerger, told WDIO.
He went missing around 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, Michigan State Police told WLUC. At the time, half of the boy’s family was fishing, the rest were gathering firewood, and he asked if he could head back to camp — but it seems he never made it.
Family searched for Niemi until 6 p.m., at which point they reached out to authorities for help, the outlet reported.
While authorities search for Niemi, they are asking that volunteers stay away from the area unless help is requested, as it “will make it harder to find him,” Buerger said in a social media post.
Park officials are echoing that sentiment.
“At this time there are dozens of agencies from across the UP and Wisconsin and to limit the chaos volunteers from the public should not come out at this time,” the park said in a Facebook post.
Still, many are expressing their willingness to help. Hurley School District, where Niemi is a student, says it is “ready with 2 buses of volunteers waiting to go help search.”
“Many professional agencies from Wisconsin and Michigan have been [deployed] throughout the area, and we are being told to please stay away from the area so they can best do their job,” the district said. “However, if we need to send volunteers, we stand ready and thank all community members for reaching out to offer assistance.”
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located roughly 225 miles northwest of Green Bay, is Michigan’s largest state park, encompassing 60,000 acres of “old-growth forest, roaring waterfalls, Lake Superior shoreline, rivers, trails and ridges,” according to Michigan.org.
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