Congratulations to Idaho State Police Corporal David Wesche and Communications Center Supervisor Raymond Shute for being awarded the Hero’s Award by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). We’re proud to honor their heroic actions as they both played an instrumental role in rescuing an 11-year-old missing child from a remote wilderness in Idaho.
On May 10, 2022, Corporal David Wesche checked an abandoned vehicle on US Hwy-12 in Idaho County near the Canyon Creek Trailhead after observing the car several days earlier. Rather than simply towing the vehicle, he tried locating the owner. Due to the extremely remote location, Regional Communications Supervisor (RCS) Raymond Shute provided critical research and information to Cpl. Wesche.
RCS Shute determined that a man rented the vehicle in Georgia, but he and his 11-year-old son had been missing for 11 days. Additionally, the father had a felony arrest warrant for custodial interference violations.
While Cpl. Wesche coordinated with the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Fish & Game, and other ISP personnel to look for the two; RCS Shute worked directly with Georgia authorities, coordinated to secure the involved vehicle for further processing, contacted the Idaho AMBER Alert Coordinator about possibly activating Team Adam to assist with search efforts, and identified resources to help with the search which included helicopters with FLIR capabilities, a search dog, and other needed resources.
The following day, even though a day off, RCS Shute used personal time to coordinate and assist the search and continued as the primary liaison between Georgia authorities and ISP efforts. Cpl. Wesche coordinated law enforcement personnel and located the father and son at a campsite in a remote area. The camp was in deplorable conditions, with very little food and water. Law enforcement took the 11-year-old into protective custody and arrested the father without incident.
The lead detective from Georgia was extremely appreciative and wrote, in part, “It is still hard to believe they were found alive that far from the vehicle in those conditions. It’s a relief to know that there are men and women that refuse to give up… Thank you again for everything, and please pass on my sincere thanks to those involved in the heroic efforts…”
In addition to being recognized as a Hero’s Award recipient, Raymond Shute was awarded a Letter of Commendation for his cooperation and significant assistance, and Cpl. Wesche was presented with a Distinguished Achievement Award for his assistance and actions that contributed to the safe return of an 11-year-old boy. Both significantly contributed to ISP’s mission through unique actions which varied from normal daily operations.
Out of hundreds of nominations, the NCMEC honored Corporal Wesche and Shute, amongst others, for their bravery and courage to go above and beyond to protect our youth. Thank you for your tireless efforts and willingness to overcome challenges.