A search for a missing 9-year-old boy who walked away from his school in Stacyville on Friday ended happily after police and game wardens found him deep in the woods more than nine hours later.

Penobscot County Sheriff's Office
Penobscot County Sheriff's Office

Rowen Ross went missing from the Katahdin Elementary School in Stacyville shortly before 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to the Penobscot County Sheriff's Office.

Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service joined sheriff's deputies in the search over the next several hours. Game wardens coordinated a search with over 100 volunteers on foot, in vehicles and on snowmobiles in an effort to cover the large wooded search area behind the school.

Numerous area fire & rescue personnel, a Maine Army National Guard FLIR helicopter, a Border Patrol helicopter and Baxter State Park Rangers assisted in the effort as well.

At approximately 8 p.m., Trooper Jared Sylvia and his K9 partner Merry of Troop F joined the search efforts. Merry was put to work after Warden Scott Martin located small footprints in the woods near the school, according to State Police.

A team consisting of Maine Warden Scott Martin, Park Ranger Mike Martin, Sgt. Joshua Haines, Trooper Sylvia and K9 Merry tracked Rowen through the thick woods, bogs, ice and cold. The tracks were intermittent due to the frozen snow.

State Police said it was difficult to determine exactly how far the track went into the woods due to the GPS devices freezing up with a temperature of 3 degrees and wind chill values well below zero. It’s safe to say the distance was well over a mile.

The child was found huddled under a large tree near the Penobscot/Aroostook County line at approximately 9:45 p.m., according to the Maine Warden Service. He was cold and a little wet, but otherwise in good health.

The boy was brought out of the woods to a snowmobile trail where he was picked up by a game warden and taken to an awaiting ambulance.


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