The holiday of Simchat Torah started with good news for hundreds of emergency workers and volunteers in Jerusalem on Monday evening, after a three-old boy went missing in the forest, prompting a massive search that ended successfully. Adam Hemed, 3, wandered away from his family while they were at a playground in the woods near the entrance of the settlement of Har Adar, located northwest of Jerusalem within the Green Line.
His family reported him missing to the police at 3:55 PM. Jerusalem police, border police, paramedics, canine patrols, and firefighters rushed to the scene to try to locate the boy. Magen David Adom notified more than 2,000 volunteers via beeper to join in the search and bring warm clothing.
Volunteers found Adam just after 8:00, hiding between two bushes a few hundred meters from the temporary headquarters set up to assist with the search. According to volunteers who found him, he was terrified and confused but otherwise unhurt. “He didn’t talk and refused to drink,” the volunteer told reporters. “He was so much in shock that he couldn’t react.”
On Monday, Jerusalem police questioned Adam’s father under the suspicion of negligence. He was questioned for a few hours and released, according to deputy police spokeswoman Shlomit Bakshi. However, Bakshi said police believe that Adam simply “wandered off” from the playground, and that his father is not criminally negligent.