EDMUNDS, Maine — The search for two boys who set out Wednesday morning to explore a wooded area near their home was called off after they safely found their way to a neighbor’s house.
Just before 9 a.m., Finn Furth, 8, and Asher Molyneaux, 7, started out from Furth’s home at the Tide Mill Farms, located between the Whiting Bay River and Route 1 near Cobscook Bay State Park.
“They are outdoor types that play outside a lot and were doing a little exploring,” Warden Joey Gardner of the Maine Warden Service said Wednesday.
They were dressed for the weather. “They had coats, boots and hats,” the warden said.
When the boys failed to return home when they were expected, family members became worried and started to search for them. Terry Bell, Furth’s grandfather, followed the boys’ tracks in the snow, but lost them, the warden said.
Family members then called the Regional Communication Center in Machias. Sheriff’s deputies and the Maine Warden Service arrived shortly after noontime. Other agencies also converged to help, including the Maine State Police. An employee from the nearby Cobscook Bay Park began to search the park area. Maine Marine Patrol put their boat in the water to search along the shore.
Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith, his K-9 dog Ginger and Gardner picked up the search where the boy’s tracks were seen last.
It was a difficult track, Smith said. “Joey and I found what we thought were smaller footprints,” he said.
“The snow was intermittent,” Gardner added. “Some places, there was 4 feet of snow and some places where the sun was shining in there, there was no snow.”
There was also a problem as to which direction the boys had traveled. The K-9 search team started toward the road and then turned back toward the shore.
Around 2 p.m., word went out over the scanner that the boys had been found.
Gardner said the boys had gotten as far as the river and knew enough to follow it.
“They knew to walk upriver and they got back to Tide Mill Farms,” Gardner said. “They had some terrain they had to go around, a couple of swamps and a couple of brooks to get across, but they were basically able to get back to the farm.”
Gardner said he did not know if the boys were out on school break or home-schooled. Furth is the son of Rachel Bell and Sam Furth and Molyneaux is the son of Regina Grabrovac and Paul Molyneaux. Molyneaux’s mother said the boys “did an awesome job.”
Gardner praised the boys.
“The kids remained calm, they knew they were lost, but also had a plan to get home. They were very wise that way,” he said. “They kept their heads about them, which was the most important thing. They were able to keep a bad situation from being a lot worse.”