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      Missing child found on Christmas Eve

      Search crews assemble early Thursday to look for a missing 4-year-old boy near Florence. / Courtesy WPDE NewsChannel 15

      FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) -- Police are calling it a Christmas miracle -- a 4-year-old boy missing in the woods for 17 hours as temperatures dipped to freezing has been found safe.

      Florence County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Nunn says searchers found Tracy Harold McGee alert and consious around 10 a.m. Thursday in woods not far from his home in Coward, about 20 miles south of Florence.

      The boy's mother told police he disppeared about 5 p.m. Wednesday while playing outside.

      About 75 officers and volunteers spent the night walking through the woods searching for him, helped by a heliocopter, bloodhounds and four-wheelers.

      The boy was wearing blue jeans and a jacket and braved temperatures under 40 degrees for 15 hours.

      The boy is being taken to a hospital for a checkup.

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