Byline: Braden Harper/Reporter
OKEMAH, Oklahoma – Two-year-old Ares Muse was found dead in Okfuskee County less than a mile away from his house after being declared missing in the early hours of Sept. 12. A search effort of over 20 agencies spent 12 hours looking for the toddler.
Authorities say the boy was last seen in bed with his family around 1:30 AM. 4 hours later at 6:30 AM, he was found missing. His family claims he would have had to unlock there sets of door locking mechanisms to walk out of the house. Investigators currently do not believe the case was an abduction.
Press Secretary Jason Salsman spoke on behalf of the Nation on the search effort.
“I have the unfortunate responsibility to let everyone know we did find the boy, unfortunately we found him deceased” Salsman said. “Right now we just ask that prayers that have been prayed today, from all over Oklahoma and everybody that kept up with this story, shift those prayers now to the family and the law enforcement officers.”
Principal Chief David Hill shared his condolences on social media.
“It was important for me to be there today and say MVTO to all of the agencies coming together to work in collaboration with our Muscogee Nation Lighthorse Police Department,” Chief Hill said. “Over 20 different agencies combined manpower and resources in a tireless and valiant effort in search of Ares Muse.”
“Though we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, we appreciate their effort and the prayers from all the people today. We grieve with everyone who knew and loved this boy.”
According to Salsman, the medical examiner has not yet provided a cause of death. The investigation is ongoing. Although the outcome ended in tragedy, Salsman said the combined effort and resources of tribal, local, state and federal agencies was tremendous.
If you have any information or tips regarding this investigation, please contact Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police Department at (918) 732-7800.