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UPDATE: Authorities find missing 15-month-old boy | News

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UPDATE: Authorities find missing 15-month-old boy


McMinn County sheriff Joe Guy says authorities have found a missing 15-month-old boy, missing on this Thanksgiving.

"Finding the child just before dark on a cold night is just sort of a miracle," said Sheriff Guy in a press release after the discovery. "We've all got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving."

A citizen helping the day-long search for Paxton Sluter found him on County Route 54, in the Hillsview Community near Athens.

We had some folks down in that area that were assisting in the search, and they were riding some of the roads," said Sheriff Guy. "(Paxton) might have been dropped off over the course of the night or maybe the course of the day, and one of those folks found him."

Sheriff Guy says the boy appears to be in good health, wrapped in a blanket, but will be taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Because of the cold temperatures, he will be monitored for hypothermia and frostbite.

The sheriff said they received the call after the boy's mother went to pick him up at his grandmother's house, only to discover little Paxton missing.

"We want to know where he's been. We want to know how he was found. We want to know how he was 'misplaced,' how be became missing. All those questions remains unanswered right now, the sheriff added.

McMinn County deputies and TBI will continue to investigate how the boy went missing.


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an Endangered Child Alert for 15-month-old Paxton Sluter.

McMinn County deputies responded to Peggy Damen's home on Country Road 54 at about 11:15 a.m. Damen told deputies that the last time she saw her grandson was earlier that morning.

"It's possible that Ms. Damen took the child to Meigs County last night, but at this point, we can't confirm that," wrote Sheriff Joe Guy in a press release. "We are asking anyone with any information about this child to call 911 immediately. It is possible the child was taken to some some other residence in McMinn or Meigs counties. We are also currently searching the area around the residence on Co Rd 54 along with our Rural Fire Departments."

Paxton is two-and-a-half feet tall, 26 pounds, has brown eyes and reddish-brown hair. He could be wearing red or blue pajamas with white footies.

Anyone with information should call 911 or the McMinn County Sheriff's Office at 423-745-5620.


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