Breaking News
More () »

ISP employees honored for rescuing missing 11-year-old from Idaho forest

Two Idaho State Police employees received the Hero's Award for their efforts to rescue a missing 11-year-old Georgia boy from the Clearwater National Forest.

BOISE, Idaho — Two Idaho State Police employees received the Hero's Award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their efforts to rescue a missing 11-year-old boy from the Clearwater National Forest in May 2022.

Last spring, Gabriel Daugherty and his father – who took him on the run – were found in Idaho's rugged backcountry. Officials said the Georgia boy and his father, who had a felony arrest warrant for custodial interference violations, had been reported missing 11 days prior. 

At the time of the rescue, Idaho State Police Corporal David Wesche checked an abandoned vehicle on US Highway 12 in Idaho County and attempted to locate its owner. In the remote area near the Canyon Creek Trailhead, Wesche received information from Regional Communications Supervisor Raymond Shute. 

After running the vehicle's plates and returning it to the rental company, Shute was able to determine the abandoned car was connected to Daugherty's disappearance and his father's felony warrant.

37-year-old Addam Perry A. Daugherty had shared custody of his son, and had told the boy's mother he was taking Gabriel on a trip to a Georgia amusement park. 

Working with Idaho State Police, Idaho Fish and Game, and the Forest Service, the Idaho County Sherriff's Office launched a search for the father and son, sending up drones over the dense forest and combing the area on foot. Wesche coordinated the search efforts.

At the same time, Shute worked with Georgia authorities, coordinated the vehicle's processing, identified resources needed for the search and contacted the Idaho AMBER Alert Coordinator, according to Idaho State Police.

Deputies reached the site where the pair had been camping in May 2022 and surrounded their small tent. Addam Daugherty was taken into custody, while Gabriel was taken to a hospital for observation.

Shute's efforts to coordinate search resources and units, and communication with Georgia authorities, came on his day off. Additionally, Wesche's coordination on the ground and expertise following the location of the vehicle led to the boy's rescue and father's arrest. 

"It is still hard to believe they were found alive that far from the vehicle in those conditions. It's a relief to know that there are men and women that refuse to give up," the lead Georgia detective said. "Thank you again for everything, and please pass on my sincere thanks to those involved in the heroic efforts..."

For their heroic and potentially lifesaving efforts in May 2022, Wesche and Shute were recognized with the Hero's Award. Additionally, Wesche received a Distinguished Achievement Award. 

"Out of hundreds of nominations, the NCMEC honored Corporal Wesche and Shute, amongst others, for their bravery and courage to go above and beyond to protect our youth," Idaho State Police wrote. "Thank you for your tireless efforts and willingness to overcome challenges."

Watch more Local News:

See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist:

KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Before You Leave, Check This Out