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HomeAt Home & Beyond"I'm okay, I want Mommy"

“I’m okay, I want Mommy”

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Joshua “JJ” Rowlands, has been found safe by a group of volunteers. This is a developing story.

Around 11AM, Sherrif Al Niennhuis announced the child was found near Parrott Middle School. He was immediately taken by ambulance to a hospital out of an abundance of caution.

“He was found north of [his] residence, just south of Parrott Middle School, so he was quite a way away from home,” Nienhuis said at a press conference just minutes after JJ was found. “The good news is that he did not wind up in any water, and he was not abducted. He was found in the woods, he seems to be fine. He’s definitely going to have something to tell his kids and grandkids.”

The only injuries Nienhuis noted were insect bites on JJ’s legs.

Trish Graeme was searching alongside Roy Link, who is pictured carrying JJ. Link reportedly accompanied the child and family to the hospital.

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“I saw the curly hair, and I screamed, ‘That’s JJ!’ Graeme said she then ran to the child, “He didn’t look scared or act scared. I said ‘Are you okay, baby?’ he said, ‘I’m okay, I want Mommy.”

In a later interview, Nienhuis introduced Link as “The man of the year in Hernando County.”

“Little JJ glommed on to him and didn’t want let go, he was so excited to see him. Nienhuis gave thanks to Link on behalf of the HCSO, the entire county, “and probably the whole United States.”

Parrott Middle school is located at least .75 miles from the center point of Cheever Road.

The volunteer command post set up by HCSO. Voluteers began searching at 8:15 AM on Friday, Febrary 24, 2023
The volunteer command post set up by HCSO. Voluteers began searching at 8:15 AM on Friday, Febrary 24, 2023
Relieved volunteers return to the command post.
Relieved volunteers return to the command post.
The team that found JJ (Roy Link not pictured). Photo Credit: Trish Graeme
The team that found JJ (Roy Link not pictured). Photo Credit: Trish Graeme
Roy Link carries JJ to awaiting First Responders. Photo Credit: Trish Graeme
Roy Link carries JJ to awaiting First Responders. Photo Credit: Trish Graeme
Roy Link takes JJ to meet First Responders. Photo Credit: Trish Graeme
Roy Link takes JJ to meet First Responders. Photo Credit: Trish Graeme

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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