Mother's 'nightmare' becomes 'a wonderful dream' after son found safe

Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 9:20 a.m. MDT

Later, after Steven was reunited with his family, they all went back to Dixon's home to thank him. Steven showed his family where he slept and told them he was cold. Members of his family commented they couldn't believe he had walked that far.

They then said thank you to Dixon and Sammy.

"She's a hero. She found him," Dixon said of his Yorkie. "She just heard him, started barking like it was an intruder of some sorts — a deer or something like that. … So we went out there, and there the little guy was."

Dixon said Sammy survived a cougar attack a few years ago that left her blind.

"She doesn't know she's blind. Her sight transferred to her hearing and her smell, and she just goes on like nothing ever happened," he said.

The search for Steven had expanded into Davis and Utah counties Thursday morning because his parents said he liked to hike. A Utah Highway Patrol helicopter was flying over the mountains in Bountiful Thursday morning.

Nearly 200 people joined the search for Steven between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to Shane Siwik, who coordinated the volunteer effort. Siwik has been active in search and rescue operations after a neighborhood search helped locate his 6-year-old daughter more than a decade ago.

He was joined by many volunteers such as Trisha Nelson, of Herriman, who drove to the park when she heard the news. Her 12-year-old son also has autism.

"It really is miraculous," Nelson said after Steven had been found.

Contributing: Richard Piatt

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com; preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: whitevs7

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