A toddler lost in the Virginia woods was back home safe Sunday thanks to two puppies who kept him warm through a harrowing night of freezing temperatures.
Jaylynn Thorpe, 3, wandered away from his baby-sitter at 4 p.m. Friday and was missing for 21 hours as hundreds of friends, family and law enforcement officials searched for him in the thick woods of Halifax County, fearing the worst.
Officials said the lost little boy and the two family puppies wandered up to a mile in the dark, even across a highway, but it wasn't until Saturday afternoon that members of the search team found him sitting by a tree, the two puppies nestled against him.
The little boy didn't say anything, according to rescue team member Jerry Gentry, but instead "just opened his arms up like, 'I'm ready to go.'"
"When I first saw him, he was like, 'Momma, I got cold. I slept in the woods last night. The puppies kept me warm.' He told me that ... the dogs slept up against him. And I'm sure the body heat kept him warm," said his mother, Sarah Ingram.
Billie Jo Roach, another member of the search party that found the boy, said the puppies refused to leave his side.