A 6-year-old boy was reported missing after following his dog away from his home on a cold November evening. Ethan Haus wandered into the undeveloped woods behind his house in Minnesota. As nightfall set and temperatures dropped, police began setting up a volunteer search team.
Steve Fines heard about the missing child and knew the area where he had gone missing was a swampy, wooded area with standing water. Fines joined the volunteers but brought along his drone. Typically, Fines uses his drone complete with thermal camera to assist farmers with runaway cattle by using their body heat. He hoped he could do the same with the missing child. Several hours later, volunteers reported a footprint and Fines flew the drone to that general area.
There he found a shape on his thermal display that looked like a dog – the boy had gone missing with the family dog. He directed searchers to the area he was looking at on his monitor and watched as they approached. He could see the searchers running towards a small indistinct shape. It was the missing child. Steve Fines image.