In October of 2019, Ethan Haus, a 6-year-old boy from Sherburne County Minnesota, went missing after school. He and his dog had wandered into the woods behind his home, and Ethan lost all sense of direction. Ethan’s parents and members of the community searched frantically for hours to no avail. With the daylight disappearing and temperatures dropping, panic heightened as police officers, firefighters and neighbors continued their search with no success.
Ten hours into the search for Ethan, a stranger joined the search party and answered the prayers of the Haus family and the Sherburne County community. Steve Fines, a professional photographer from the neighboring town saw the news of a missing boy and brought his heat-seeking camera equipped drone to help locate Ethan. He had the perfect tool for the scenario - the drone allowed him to see what searchers couldn’t. After several hours of flying the drone over uncut cornfields, Fines discovered a heat signature that stood out from the other wildlife he had seen since arriving at the scene. Fines flew the drone directly above the heat signature and flashed the drone’s bright lights to direct the ground team to the location.
Using the drone as a beacon, deputies found Ethan and his dog laying in the cornfield. Both were cold and scared, but unhurt. Fines, with the help of his drone, likely saved the life of Ethan Haus and returned him safely to his family.