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Missing boy sparks huge hunt in Denmark

By Susanne Gargiulo, CNN
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Missing 3-year-old found alive in woods
  • Holger Kragh, 3, argues with his mother on a trip and storms off
  • He then vanishes, prompting a search involving police, military and volunteers
  • Police get news about his fate live on camera

(CNN) -- It started out as a typical spat between a mother and child, the kind parents and kids around the world have thousands of times every day: Holger Kragh wanted to take his coat off during a walk in the woods. His mother wouldn't let him.

The 3-year-old stormed off -- and vanished.

The little boy and his mother were on a field trip Sunday morning with other children and teachers in northwest Denmark.

When Holger was still missing at lunchtime, his parents called the police, sparking an intensive search.

Police, dog patrols, the military and emergency services scrambled to find the boy.

As news of his disappearance spread, hundreds of members of the public also fanned out to help search the area, Tranum Klitplantage, in north Jutland.

Police got an unprecedented number of calls offering assistance, commissioner Poul Badsberg of North Jutland police told CNN.

In the end, they even sent out an ice cream truck, hoping that Holger would hear its bells and follow the sound.

But as night fell Sunday, as temperatures dropped to near freezing and rain began to fall, there was no sign of him.

The search continued Monday morning, a bright clear day -- and then the news broke, in the form of a shout as CNN affiliate TV2 was broadcasting live.

"Ja!" comes the roar from just off-screen. The camera swings to find police team leader Flemming Bruun Jacobsen pumping a fist in the air, his other hand holding a phone to his ear.

"They found him?" reporter Cathrine Reinert asks, though it couldn't be clearer from Jacobsen's face what he's been told.

"They found him!" the policeman shouts back.

"Where?" Reinert asks as he puts his phone down.

"I don't know yet. We're sending a police car to get him," Jacobsen says with a grin. Then, unable to contain himself, he raises both fists and erupts once again: "Yes!"

The boy was found by a member of the public on horseback 4 to 5 kilometers (2.5 to 3 miles) from the place where he was last seen, Badsberg said.

He was in good health and good spirits, the police commissioner said.

Holger was reunited with his weeping parents, and his mother, Heidi Kragh, carried the tired, slightly bewildered-looking boy into an ambulance to be taken to a hospital for precautionary tests.

For the record, he was wearing his coat.

CNN's Collin Vanbuskirk contributed to this report