Carthage community rallies together to find missing boy

Nearly 400 volunteers came out

Police and community members searched an area in Carthage last night for a 12-year-old boy who went missing. After several hours, he was found, thanks to the help of volunteers.

12-year-old Koleby Dalton, was thankfully, found safe just before 11:00 Wednesday night. But it’s how the community came together that brought him home safe.

It started with the Evangel Assembly of God, their Senior Pastor, Brian Mather, drove up from his home near Sarcoxie to open the church, and his parishioners got hot coffee started and snacks for the officers and community volunteers out searching for Dalton.

Mather says, he wasn’t doing anything big, he was just doing what the church is supposed to do. “To me, it was a blessing to be a blessing, i always try to look for avenues to help people, in any way we can.”

As the search went on, the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions, put fear into everyone’s mind. Sergeant Tim Williams with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says “As soon as we heard what was coming, it was emergent to us, so, you were talking about fear, the fears were there from the very beginning.”

We spoke with Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan on the phone who said nearly 400 people came out and signed up to search for Dalton. Hours went by with no sign and then, an unexpected ray of hope arrived. Seth Short with Myers Inn Haunt says “The idea popped into my head, the manager of our haunt, James, has a big searchlight up there, so it just popped into my head right away, hey lets get that in the area, that kids lost, maybe he’ll go to it like a bug light.”

That ray of hope, Seth Short and his friend James, both from the Myers Inn Haunt in Carthage, and, their big search light. Seth made the drive from Seneca as fast as he could to get here and that search light, ended up bringing Dalton home. “It was pretty amazing, that kid walked up and, just out of the blue just showed up right next to the light, we’re standing in a circle talking and I look down at him and say ‘what’s your name buddy?’ and he said his name and then James says ‘we’ve been looking for you’…so, and I believe the little boy said ‘yea I know’.”

Officials say the most important part, is Koleby Dalton, made it home safe, and sound.

We did try to contact Koleby’s family but officials say they were already on their way to celebrate the holidays.


Get the latest local and national headlines straight to your email for free: Sign up here.