Drone With Thermal Camera Helps Find 6-Year-Old Boy, Dog Lost In Cornfield

By Bill Galluccio

October 17, 2019

A missing six-year-old boy from Minnesota was found in a cornfield with the help of a drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera. Ethan Haus was reported missing when he failed to return home after school. The young boy got off the school bus with his siblings and ran off to play with the family's dog.

When Ethan didn't return home, his family called the police and they organized a massive search party to find him. Over 600 volunteers descended on the area and began desperately trying to locate the boy with the help of numerous law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

After hours of searching, they had made no progress in locating Ethan and his dog. Authorities were considering calling off the search because it was too dark. That's when Steve Fines decided to use the thermal imaging camera on his drone.

Once the drone was in the air, it didn't take long for the search party to find Ethan. The camera picked up two heat signatures in a cornfield, about a mile away from his home.

"I couldn't go to bed knowing that I hadn't done something," Fines said. "[Searchers] were not walking to the site, they were running, you know. You could hear them breathing heavily and crashing through bush and through the cornfields and everything, and then there was a lot of yelling."

When they found Ethan, he was cold but otherwise unharmed.

"This truly was the epitome of a community caring for its own," Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott said in a statement. "To see the outpouring of support in such a short time period to come out and help find this boy and his dog is heartwarming."

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