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Boy, 3, found after night in mountains

California child's disappearance galvanized community


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Aiden Burke rests in the hospital after he was found. Police said he's got some 'bumps and scrapes' but is otherwise fine.

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start quoteHe smelled like dirty diapers, man, but we were just happy to see him.end quote
-- Bill Chestnut, one of hundreds of searchers
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(CNN) -- A 3-year-old boy who disappeared Wednesday while playing with his siblings in his back yard was found alive and healthy after spending the night in the Santa Cruz Mountains, authorities said Thursday.

Searchers working in a rainstorm found Aiden Burke in a heavily wooded area less than a mile from his home.

Video from the scene shortly after the rescue showed the young boy -- his hair a bit frazzled and wet -- wrapped in a blanket, munching on a snack as medics attended to him in an ambulance. He was then joined by his mother, who hugged and doted on her boy.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Mark Tracy said Aiden, who will turn 4 next month, would be taken to a hospital as a precaution, but that he appeared to be fine.

"He's doing OK," Tracy said. "At this moment, the best that we can tell he's got some bumps and scrapes, and that's it."

The sheriff thanked the hundreds of searchers.

"When a small child is lost, certainly that's something that's a huge priority," he said. "And today, thankfully, this is a successful outcome.

"The best part of it is that the mother is now with her child," Tracy said.

Some searchers cheered and some wept when they heard that Aiden had been located.

"He smelled like dirty diapers, man, but we were just happy to see him," said Bill Chestnut, one of the people looking for the boy.

Aiden was last seen playing with his siblings and his dog Wednesday night. Search and rescue teams spent the night hunting for him in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where temperatures at night can dip into the 30s.

Authorities said foul play was not suspected in the boy's disappearance.


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