Guardian of Aiken toddler who went missing for several hours speaks out

A massive search for a missing three-year-old ends with him home safe and sound.
A massive search for a missing three-year-old ends with him home safe and sound.

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)- A massive search for a missing three-year-old ends with him home safe and sound.

Mary Teseniar, 72, is the guardian of her three-year-old great-grandson, Carter Duplisea. Wednesday afternoon, she faced a nightmare scenario when she turned around and Carter was gone around 1 p.m.

“While I was at the sink, I thought he went in the playroom,” she said. “And he done opened the backdoor, and I went looking for him and seen the door was open. I come out, started screaming and hollering when I couldn’t find him.”

After about ten minutes, she called the police.

“And I just lost it,” she said. “And people come running out the door and started helping me look for him, and then I called 911 within ten minutes.”

The AIiken County Sheriff’s Office dispatched all their available resources to find the child.

“Deputies responded out as well as our tracking team, our airplane, and a helicopter from state law enforcement to conduct the ground search,” said Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt.

About 50 men set off across the rural area. Dogs tracked Carter’s scent, and a helicopter scanned the ground.

Family members and neighbors also joined the search, as his Granny tried to hold on to hope.

“I just went to pieces,” Teseniar said. “Walking down the road and walking everywhere and everybody coming looking.”

But a few hours later, a neighbor found the boy near a pond on his property.

“We’d been out on social media, putting it out, and we did a reverse message from our dispatch center,” Hunt said. “This particular citizen, his wife had called him and told him what was going on, and he said he was going to check the property before he came home, and luckily he did.”

Carter had walked about four or dive hundred yards through the woods in barefeet before he was found safe and sound.

“I’m just so thankful to the police coming out the way they did…and I mean everybody,” Teseniar said. “The helicopter, and every person and all the people that I knowed and didn’t know was out here trying to help me find this baby.”

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