Just before 5:30 pm Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a 2-year-old child missing on County Road 3795 at Morgan Cemetery. This location is one street east of Fostoria Road, just inside Liberty County.
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with Cleveland Fire Department, the Splendora Fire Department and DPS. A search was first conducted of the home and then spread to the immediate area.
Chance Ward, a Liberty County contract cowboy was notified. Ward and his dog “Ike” responded to the scene. Ward said if there is something to be tracked, Ike will find it. After first giving Ike a few of little JJ’s clothes, Ike hit the trail. Within a short time he found a diaper and about another half mile further a rope that JJ’s father uses during his hunting trips.
With other crews still searching, Ike continued a track near a pipeline right of way. He didn’t need to go far when the call came the child had been found.
A man and woman traveling down Fostoria Road saw JJ crawl out of the woods along the road and stopped. They called Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department who responded and recovered JJ and his two small companions, Zena and Georgia.
A text message with JJ’s photo was sent to the command post to verify it was in fact JJ. Within fifteen minutes little JJ was home.
Nichole and James Sumrall had gone to have dinner and celebrate James birthday. A babysitter was left with little Jesse James (J.J.) Sumrall. When the babysitter went to the restroom she returned to find JJ missing. She first searched the house and when he wasn’t found, called for help. Nichole wasn’t surprised that he was found without a diaper, she said he would rather shed that then his robot shirt.
Two other hunting dogs returned to the house just before JJ was found.
According to rescue workers this is not the first time a child has vanished and covered so much territory. All it takes is a minute or two and they can slip out anywhere.