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Mother of Missing 1-Year-Old Said He Was With His Father Before Vanishing

By Zachary Stieber

The mother of a missing toddler in Kentucky said the boy was with his father before disappearing.

Kenneth Howard, who is nearly 2 years old, went missing on May 11 from his home in Salyersville.

Father Elden Howard said on Tuesday that family members think Kenneth just walked out of the house.

“Yeah, it’s just like he disappeared. No sign, no nothing. That’s the reason I’m starting to think, if we can’t find him, somebody’s picked him up,” Howard said, adding that he was offering a $5,000 reward.

Samantha Moore, Kenneth’s mother, said that the toddler was with Howard just before he vanished.

“He was outside with his dad and we see he just went around the back of the house, and when he went around after, he was just gone,” Moore told WTVQ. “It’s like he just disappeared. Like he’s just gone. I just feel like I’m in a daze. Like it’s just a nightmare.”

Robert Prater, a family friend and the Magoffin County Emergency Management Director, said that from what he knew the family was on the front porch when the child vanished.

“I think the dad may have been on the front porch talking with maybe one of his brothers. I think the child slipped out the back door,” Prater told WYMT.

Prater said the situation was emotional. “Everyone is trying to be optimistic. But you know, they’re hoping for the best,” he said. “We’re holding onto hope. You can’t give up.”

While the search for Kenneth was suspended on Tuesday, it later resumed. Moore urged people to keep looking.

“Don’t give up. He is there somewhere. Somebody knows something, there’s a sign, there’s something. And I’m so grateful from the bottom of my heart for everything everybody’s done,” she told WTVQ.

Search crews spent hours on Tuesday searching the wooded area around the family’s house while some crews searched about one mile from the house, reported WKYT. The search was suspended on Tuesday morning due to weather but later resumed.

By Tuesday evening, it was called off again and it was not clear when it would resume again.

Vigils were held in the community on Tuesday night as people prayed for the boy’s safe return.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Magoffin County Sheriff’s Department at 606-349-2914.