On June 3, 2022, at approximately 4:53 PM, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a concerned neighbor of a possible missing child in the Bull Lake area, south of Troy, Montana. LCSO deputies and David Thompson Search and Rescue responded.
Deputies determined that the missing child was Ryker Webb, age three, with red hair and blue eyes. It was determined that he had already been missing for more than two hours.
An initial clothing description provided to searchers proved to be inaccurate. It was unknown what clothing or footwear the child was wearing. The child was last seen that afternoon of Friday, June 3, 2022, playing with the family dog in the yard outside the home near the 18 mile-marker of Hwy 56 south of Troy on the East side of Bull Lake.
In addition to a steady presence of ground searchers and ATVs, several drones and dog teams were able to deploy following the initial report and a boat unit on the lake. Two Bear Air initiated their response but had to turn back due to poor weather moving in.
On 06/04, two Montana Air National Guard helicopters and drones from Flathead County and Spokane Police were able to respond, in addition to more dog teams and continued ground and ATV searching. These resources continued to monitor the weather for additional flight openings. It was challenging to get the other air assets into the Bull Lake valley due to deplorable weather conditions, which consisted of rain, low visibility, and low ceiling. The dense vegetation in the area proved to be extremely difficult to search. A Code Red Alert was sent out to all neighbors near the point last seen, asking that they search their properties and structures.
A missing person report was disseminated nationwide.
On 06/05, approximately 53 personnel were actively searching the area when they were notified that the child had possibly been found. Deputies responded to Pine Ridge Road off South Fork Bull River Road in Sanders County and determined that it was Ryker, who was in good spirits and healthy, although hungry, thirsty, and cold. Bull Lake Volunteer Ambulance responded to assess and transported Ryker to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center for evaluation.
Thank you to the many agencies and persons who assisted in this search. Apologies to anyone we may have missed.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, David Thompson Search and Rescue, Bull Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Bull Lake Volunteer Ambulance, Flathead County SAR, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane PD, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, North Valley SAR, Two Bear Air, Montana Air National Guard, Libby Volunteer Fire Department, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the large group of experienced outdoorsmen and families who responded from Sanders County.
Additionally, thanks to Malmstrom AFB, Fairchild AFB, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for attempting to respond with additional aircraft. Thank you to the Halfway House, Stillwater Christian Church, Rosauers, and many others for the meals and support provided.