The search for missing Ohio toddler Rainn Peterson has come to a happy end as she was found alive by searchers. The toddler had wandered away from her home on 7759 State Route 45 in North Bloomfield, Ohio, home, where she lived with her great-grandparents and two brothers. She was last seen at home on October 2 around 7:30 p.m. Her great-grandmother called her for dinner and she did not arrive. Her brothers said that she had gone upstairs, but no one had seen her since. Nine hours later, the police made the search for the missing toddler public.
The search for her went on over two days and involved bloodhounds, thermal imaging, volunteers, and people on horseback. At first the police asked volunteers to not look for her, but after she had been missing for 24 hours they screened volunteers before sending them out into the Ohio fields. Dogs were initially unable to pick up her scent, but they found a scent near the road shortly afterward. The scent stopped there, and when the missing toddler was eventually found she was in the opposite direction of where the scent had led. Area sex offenders were questioned but were not considered suspects. A missing child alert was issued for both Ohio and Pennsylvania, since North Bloomfield is thirty miles away from the Ohio/Pennsylvania border. No Amber Alert was issued because the case did not meet the criteria. Her mother and father were also questioned. Her mother was out with her boyfriend and her father had been estranged from her mother for some time. Her great-grandparents were also not considered suspects. The police continually stated that foul play was not suspected and that the missing toddler had likely wandered off.
Rainn was eventually found about half a mile from her home by two volunteer searchers on dirt bikes. She was transported to a local hospital for evaluation as a routine precaution.
It was a happy ending for both the family and friends of the missing Ohio toddler as well as welcome news for those who have followed the disappearances of several small children over the summer. Lonzie Barton, Ember Graham, Kyrian Knox, DeOrr Kunz, Vincent Moore, and King Walker all vanished between July and August and have yet to be found. None of those cases appear to have involved abduction by a family member, and police have openly talked about foul play for Graham and Moore. In Barton’s case, his mother and his mother’s boyfriend are currently awaiting trial on charges of child neglect, and the police have stated flatly that the toddler was murdered, probably by his mother’s boyfriend. Rainn Peterson might have had the odds against her in surviving two days in the cold Ohio weather (averaging 58 degrees in Trumbull County over the past week, with clouds and rain throughout), and the chances of a missing toddler being found alive drop sharply in just 24 hours, but ultimately the missing Ohio toddler was found safe.
Little information has been released by the police about the recovery of the missing Ohio toddler. A press confrence is to be held this evening.
Trumbull County is a rural part of Ohio and the many nearby cornfields would make it easy for a toddler to wander off and go missing. Thanks to the volunteers in this case, at least one missing toddler will be back at home with her family. Hats off to them.
(Image via NCMEC)