Ryker Webb’s story — How a 3-year-old boy survived the Montana wilderness alone

Ryker Webb

Ryker Webb’s tale of survival is one of a kind in the missing kids’ category of stories which often tend to end on a grim note. On June 7, 2022, the picture of a fatigued and wide-eyed Ryker who had just been rescued from the depths of Montana’s mountains made the rounds on the internet.

The 3-year-old toddler had gone missing on a Friday afternoon in June and spent the weekend alone in a forested area known for inhabiting mountain lions and bears. By a bout of miracle, he was found in good health and spirits following two days of an extensive police search, though understandably he appeared hungry, cold, and disheveled.

Ryker Webb was found in a shed behind an old and unoccupied cabin, located over two miles away from his home

On June 3, 2022, Ryker Webb was playing with his father and dog in the backyard of their home in the little town of Troy, Northwest Montana. When his father went inside for a minute and came back, an unsupervised Ryker had wandered off the trail and was nowhere to be found.

In the initial hours of his disappearance, Ryker’s family searched the area and asked their neighbors. The police, who were alerted two hours later, launched a countrywide search team to locate the child which included 50 ground searchers, a dog team, helicopters, drones, and all-terrain vehicles. Even a code red alert was sent to the nearby residents, urging them to search their properties.

However, the search efforts were hindered by the deteriorating weather condition (owing to a thunderstorm) that worsened over the weekend.

In a fortunate turn of events, two days later on June 5, Ryker was found at Pine Ridge Road and South Fork Bull River Road in Sanders County, nearly 2.4 miles away from where he originally went missing.

Ryker had taken shelter in a shed behind an old log cabin and kept warm by sleeping in a lawn mower grass catcher bag. He was found by a couple – who owned the cabin and the property – after they heard a whimper from the shed while inspecting their generator.

Investigations continued to find the reason behind Ryker’s disappearance and why his parents waited two hours to alert the police

Sheriff Darren Short of Lincoln County said that Ryker was “very, very scared” but cheered up at the prospect of being reunited with his parents.

“He had the wide-eyed scared look until he got back to his mom and dad,” Sheriff Short said.

Upon questioning, the child said that he had gone for a walk and became tired after getting lost. He was discharged quickly after a medical evaluation.

“Once the rain started to hit and the thunderstorms started to hit, Ryker was smart enough even as a 3-year-old to take cover in that shed. I truly believe that he took cover in that shed from Friday evening until he was found on Sunday,” said the Sheriff.

Even after Ryker was found safe and sound, investigations continued as the Sheriff revealed that they were “still looking into why he disappeared and why he was not being watched closely” by his parents.