After hours of searching, authorities found missing Oklahoma brothers Ryan Farrow, 7, and Donald Farrow, 6, "ransacking" a house about a mile away from the salvage where they first disappeared Monday afternoon.
The boys were found playing, eating and drawing on each other's faces.
The brothers were reported missing just after 2 p.m. by their grandmother, Sharon Farrow. Farrow told authorities she was in the middle of Cagle Salvage and Auto Crusher about 1 p.m. when she noticed they were missing.
The boys were located at about 5 p.m., in a home about a mile north of where emergency crews were conducting their second search through a 19-acre maze of dilapidated vehicles and auto parts.
As the children exited Muskogee Police Officer Danny Dupont’s police car, one had no shoes or socks on, and both had drawn designs on each other’s faces. Sharon Farrow tearfully said she was sorry for the trouble, appreciated everyone’s assistance and was glad the boys were safe and sound.
Authorities said it appeared the boys had made their way inside the house where they were located and "ransacked" it.
The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the boys' disappearance at 2:12 p.m., said Deputy Tyler Mohr, and it wasn't long before other agencies began to arrive.
A medical helicopter flew overhead for more than an hour searching for the children, as more than 50 firefighters and law enforcement officers from at least eight agencies combed the salvage yard and its thousands of vehicles.
Law enforcement K9s were called in and searched the grounds for more than an hour. Rescuers yelled the boys’ names as they made their way through the grounds. Firefighters armed with crowbars pried open trunks — fearing the kids had perhaps climbed inside and accidentally shut a trunk lid on themselves.
With sunlight and warmth ticking away, rescuers were growing more frantic by the minute. And when the boys were found, their relief was clear.
Keefeton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Speck Plunkett and Mohr coordinated much of the search of the area.
"We’re thankful the kids aren’t hurt and that they're safe," Plunkett said. "A lot of people worked very hard today to find them."
Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Grace said he believed the boys had recently run away as many as three times.
"At this point, (The Department of Human Services) has to be notified," Grace said. "We’re glad the kids are OK and safe, but they’ve done this before and it has escalated to this point now."
Information for this story was provided by the Muskogee (Okla.) Phoenix