UPDATED OCTOBER 22: A young boy who disappeared last weekend during a hike with his family in the forest area around Lindesnes, southern Norway, was found dead on Tuesday (October 17) after the largest search and rescue effort ever mounted in the region. His body was found nearly three kilometers northeast of where he’d last been seen.
He was identified as seven-year-old Torjus Seland, last seen just before 2pm on Sunday while out hunting with his father and nine-year-old sister. The area where he disappeared was described as rugged and without trails, full of marshes and ponds. He’s believed to have wandered to the forested area where trained dogs finally found his body under a rocky ledge two days later.
His body was sent for autopsy, which later determined that the boy died of hypothermia, probably on Monday afternoon. His grieving family from Lyngdal thanked the hundreds of professional and volunteer emergency crews who took part in the massive search for him. The rescue effort included more than 100 trained personnel from the military’s Home Guard, 38 from the Red Cross plus hundreds of volunteers. Search and rescue helicopters, dog teams, police and Norwegian Civil Defense troops also participated.
“This has been an extremely tragic case,” local police chief Bernt Mushom told state broadcaster NRK. “People all along the southern coast have been holding their breath, and when a child is involved, it makes such an impression.” Lyngdal Mayor Unni Nilsen Husøy said the entire area was in deep sorrow and crisis teams were set up at the child’s school and to aid his family. A fundraising effort for the family had raised more than NOK 2 million by later in the week.