Ares Muse — Mystery deepens as missing 2-year-old is found dead near family home after vanishing while his parents slept.
Ares Muse reportedly went missing from his family’s Okemah home between 1:30 and 6:30 a.m. on Monday, September 12.
His parents said the young boy had crawled into bed with them during the night, according to Jim Parish with the Department of Safety.
Muse’s father woke up around 6:30 a.m. and discovered the toddler wasn’t there. He was last seen wearing black pajamas featuring brightly colored dinosaurs.
A multi-agency search spanned over 12 hours as authorities tried to locate the boy.
Ares’ body was found at around 6 pm Monday evening, more than a half mile from the home.
Ares Muse cause of death.
The toddler’s cause of death was not immediately clear. Over 20 agencies assisted in the search for the boy, according to KTUL.
An official investigation is underway, but authorities have not yet deemed it criminal in nature.
The boy’s family is reportedly cooperating with law enforcement officials, according to Jason Salsman, a spokesperson for the Muscogee Nation.
Salsman also said during a news briefing that Ares reportedly managed to unlock three different locks to escape the home.
“We talked all day long about wanting a good outcome, and we didn’t get that,” Salsman said.
“It’s unfortunate, but that doesn’t take away from the effort and from how we need to be there in our hearts and minds for this family.”
Eric Foster with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the agencies involved were from the tribal, local, state, and federal levels.
“We hate to be able to give news like this, it’s very unfortunate. But we do come together,” Foster said.
“And we had a lot of citizens reach out as well wanting to help, and that’s just Oklahoma and we are proud to be a part of that.”
Ares’ grandmother spoke to KOCO 5, telling the outlet that the young boy was “the family’s pride and joy.”
The grandmother added that he loved helping his father and dying Easter eggs.
Other highlights from the boy’s life included his first bath and his first “big boy bed,” as she described to the outlet.
A GoFundMe has been started to support the family during this time.
Brandi Gaither, who claims to be a grandmother of the boy, organized the fundraiser and set a goal of $5,000.
More than $1,200 has already been raised.
“I am asking for help for the family for the funeral costs and whatever they need help with,” the description reads.