Officers with Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office save 3 boys lost in Magnolia, New Jersey woods

WOODBURY, NJ (WPVI) — A two-year-old bloodhound named Shiloh helped save the day when three little boys went missing in Magnolia, New Jersey.

“Thank you for saving us,” said 7-year-old Leo Evans.

Magnolia police received a call around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. Kai and Leo Evans, aged 9 and 7, and their boyfriend had been playing on their bikes and decided to explore the area.

“We went down the creek about two miles,” Leo said.

But it was actually less than three miles, investigators said.

The boys’ grandmother, Cherese Evans, said the boys had a strict rule not to leave the block. When they couldn’t find the kids, Evans called the Magnolia Police, who spotted their bikes by a creek.

K9s from the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office were called in.

“When they said they were going to get the dogs and they needed a piece of their clothing to spy on, that caught my eye,” Cherese Evans said.

Magnolia Police Department Patrol Officer Jeremy Hackney and K9 County Officers Thomas Accoglio and Alex Molnar set off with Shiloh.

“Timing is crucial in this situation because obviously timing is going to put some distance,” Hackney said.

“We just kept going. We knew they were around somewhere, we just couldn’t find them,” Molnar said.

Officers began finding footprints and Shiloh moved on. Flip flops soon appeared.

Shiloh led the team through dirt, water and mud for about three miles.

“We knew she was getting closer when she started pulling faster and faster,” Accoglio said.

“Sure enough, there are these three kids, and it was like ‘Lord of the Flies,’ all alone, in swimsuits, standing in the water, and they were plotting to survive the night,” Molnar said.

“They were happy to see us. We’re just as happy to see them,” Hackney said.

Officials were relieved and the children were reunited with their families.

And Shiloh got dried liverwurst, which she loved.

“The dog did what the dog was supposed to do. These children are safe, no one was hurt,” Accoglio said.

Gloucester County Sheriff Jonathan M. Sammons was proud of all officers, including Shiloh.

“You are engaged. You’ll get calls 24 hours a day,” Sammons said.

“They all pulled together and found these three kids. Those three little kids, so we’re extraordinarily grateful,” said Cherese Evans.

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