A 6-year-old boy is safe thanks to a massive search effort overnight that ended after a drone with a thermal camera setup spotted the child and his dog in a cornfield north of the Twin Cities. 

The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office said Ethan Haus was found around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning in a field not far from his home in Palmer Township, which is just North of Becker. He had disappeared late Tuesday afternoon and was missing for nearly 10 hours before being found. 

Ethan was brought to a hospital early Wednesday morning; authorities said he was cold overnight when temperatures were in low 20s but otherwise okay. 

Drones, shown here at a Los Angeles Fire Department demonstration, have become a key tool for emergency response units Drones, shown here at a Los Angeles Fire Department demonstration, have become a key tool for emergency response units Photo: AFP / Robyn Beck

Ethan's mother Sherri Haus said she is glad to have both the dog, Remington, and Ethan. They were playing outside, and just like that, Ethan and Remington did what they've never done before -- playing into an unfamiliar part of the neighborhood. 

A call was put out, and community rdesources mobilized. Sherri said, "we never thought that so many people would come when I asked for help, and people came from all over."  

Over 600 volunteers turned out to help search for Ethan, who went missing just after 4 p.m.

Luckily for the boy, one of the volunteers, Steve Fines, who owns a drone imaging company brought a drone with a thermal camera into the search. The device spotted Ethan and the family dog in a field east of the family’s home that had already been searched by volunteers.

Fines uses the FLIR thermal camera attached to a professional grade DJI drone for roofing inspections and to find lost livestock at night, Dronelife reported.

Fines started the drone mission at around 10 p.m. coordinating with the Sheriff’s department. The dog's head showed up in the thermal imagery at 1.30 a.m., and Fines led search volunteers to the spot by illuminating the drone. 

Before finally spotting Remington, the thermal camera had given some false positives, including otters and other animals, the report said.

 "I couldn't go to bed knowing that I hadn't done something," said Fines.