Memorial Weekend Miracle: MIssing Child Found

3-Year-Old Disappeared From Campsite On Saturday

MONGAUP VALLEY, NY (CBS) ― A 3-year-old boy who went missing Saturday from a campground in Sullivan County has been found.

Daniel Niktalova was in good health after his ordeal, which started before 2 p.m. Saturday when his family, from Queens, reported him missing. The family was staying at Swinging Bridge Campground on Lakeshore Drive.

After spending 24-hours lost in the woods, Niktalova is back with his family. His grandmother, Nadia Niktalova was watching him play at the upstate campsite where the family spends their weekends, but lost sight of him around 11 a.m. Saturday.

Upon his safe arrival, Nadia Niktalova was overjoyed, and could only say "Thank you everybody, thank you very much, God bless."
"There is no words," added the toddler's mother Svetlana. "I was all night in the woods screaming his name."

Search teams scoured the area day and night, by land, air and water, and found him Sunday morning in an area where bears are often sighted, sitting under a tree.

"Looked up and at first I thought it was a cub bear sitting underneath there and the little boy turned his head and lifted his face, and I'm like that's a kid,!" said Harry Rampe of the Liberty Fire Department.

Niktalov was found with minor scrapes, cuts and insect bites. He was taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center as a precaution.

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Staging area/command Post

Briefing board

Searching the lake

Part of my Team No. 1 rest break (Searching the sector along lake)

A moment after little Daniel was found. (picture by NJIRT Member Carl H.)

Signing out after the find

News photo of happy reunion with father (Courtesy Times Herald-Record)

NJIRT team debriefing session

Message from chief

The search on Sunday was called by NYSDEC to look for a missing 4 yo boy west of Monticello, NY (Sullivan Cty). Child had been playing "hide and seek" with a group when he went "missing" Saturday afternoon about 1300. He had a medium weight jacket on (it was cool on Sat) which helped him get throught the night. Several teams from NYS as well as teams from NJ responded - well over 100 people involved. The IRT had members tasked out with several search groups. Carl H was on the task that found the boy. Well done to all!!
We all got to see a well organized and conducted search operation done under the control of the NYSDEC rangers