Father shares video of emotional reunion with son, 3, who went missing: 'My whole world could have been taken from me'

A three-year-old is currently recovering after he wandered away from his family home in Alabama on Monday and was found, 12 hours later, by a volunteer.

Zachary Rutherford was reported missing on Monday at 7:30 p.m. after he ran off with his dog. The dog returned at 10:00 p.m. without Zachary.

The young boy spent the night alone in the woods but on Tuesday, at sunrise, he was miraculously found by a volunteer.

The emotional moment Zachary was reunited with his father, Justin Rutherford, was captured on video by a volunteer, Heith Ritter McCracken, with the Cajun Navy, a group that assists in search and rescue.

Justin said that his "mini me" being found was the answer to his prayers.

The search to find Zachary latest 12 hours, and involved a rescue team, dogs and a helicopter. Ultimately, the young boy was found by Ben Ready 680 yards from his home asleep in the woods, according to WSFA.

“We are thankful for every day men and women who step up during a time of need. Great job to the good Samaritan who showed up with help in his heart, not affiliated with anyone, and let the Lord lead him to this little boy,” the Cajun Navy wrote on Facebook, referring to Ben Ready.

"[Zachary] had some scratches and bruises, but he's going to be OK," Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin told the Montgomery Advertiser. "We really couldn't have asked for a better outcome, unless it was finding him sooner."

"I just want to let everyone know how [thankful] I am that my mini me is laying beside me it’s been one of the hardest longest days/night of my life. Just knowing that my whole world could of been taken from me in the blink of an eye," Justin shared on Facebook. "Zachary is not only my son he’s my best friend."

Justin Rutherford, Ben Ready, and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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