James with his relieved parents. Photo Credit: Jackson Flindell.
He’s the little boy who went missing from his family’s holiday home south of Perth at the weekend – and the nation collectively held its breath as a frantic search was launched to find him.
Three-year-old James O’Reilly sparked a massive search by emergency services and the local community when he seemingly vanished from the home’s front yard on Saturday morning, as his mother fed James’ baby sister inside.
He was discovered some 12 hours later by his grandfather, who had been assisting searchers through dense bushland near the house.
WA Police – who had vowed to not stop searching until James was found – posted an update on James and his family on social media.
“A quick update on 3-year-old adventurer James,” WA Police wrote.
“After spending 12 hours in Yallingup bush land, young James is doing very well.
“Thank you to all the emergency service volunteers and members of the public who helped our police officers with the search.
“Words can’t describe how happy everyone is – so just look at these smiles, they say it all.”
James’ mother, Michelle Buckley has told media she “really started to panic” at sunset on Saturday when her little boy had not been found.
“I was losing hope. I honestly thought that we were going to find him dead,” she told the ABC.
“Chris’s granddad got here and literally five minutes after he arrived, Chris’s mum came running up the stairs and said they found him.
“It was his Uncle John and Poppy Paul that found him.
“We brought him inside and just took off his pyjamas, wrapped him up in a blanket and he was smiling, and he said, ‘I went out in the bush,’ and it was just the most beautiful moment. I’m so thankful.”
Ms Buckley said she was overwhelmed by the support the family received from the local community.
“When it was updated that he was found and the amount of people that were so happy, I just thought they don’t even know my son and they’re so relieved,” she said.