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Mills boy reported missing found unharmed in cab of truck

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A search for a missing New York Mills boy ended with the 7-year-old safely in his parents' arms Monday.

The boy was playing outside the Parkview Apartments with his younger brother. When it was time for the boy to come in his father couldn't find him outside where the boy had been playing. After searching the area, Jeff Randall told his wife to call 9-1-1 and report their son missing.

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About a half hour after the search began the boy was home safely.

The New York Mills Police Department took the call from dispatch and Chief Jason Hoaby responded to the apartments, gathered the basic information and boy's description, and conducted an initial search in the immediate area of the boy's home. Greg Seim and Ryan Brasel from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office also responded and met with the family. NYM Fire Department members were then dispatched to join law enforcement in the search.

"We first were amazed at the quick response, not only by the police but everyone involved," Jeff Randall said Monday in an email to the Herald.

With the boy still missing, neighbors and others stopped to offer assistance.

Hoaby contacted the Cenex C-Store to provide information on the missing boy and was told a boy matching the description was at the store earlier wanting to buy a flashlight. Law enforcement, along with a neighbor responding to help, went to the C-Store to investigate and a man working on one of the semi-tractor trailers reportedly saw the boy in one of the truck cabs. The truck was not occupied by anyone else at the time and the boy was returned to his parents.

Jeff Randall and his wife Teresa Randall, are thankful to all those who helped in this situation he described as how their world went from "normal to complete terror." "For a small town, this is one of the best I've seen when it comes to helping others," Randall said. "We are both amazed at the quick response and the town's efforts to find a small child that no one knew.

"In our society and our world today you do not often hear about compassion and people getting together for one common goal, but when you see it with your own eyes it makes you realize how great New York Mills is and how compassionate we can be in a small town."

An Amber Alert was not issued in Monday's incident. In the event of a child reported missing the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is notified, and if the situation meets certain criteria an Amber Alert may be issued, this according to Hoaby.

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