SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - The day after 2-year-old William Odom was found, the heroes in the search are being honored: The boy who found him, and the dog who stayed by his side during the hours-long search.
William walked away from his home on Pete Hickman Road in Saucier on Tuesday. He was eventually found asleep in a truck by 10-year-old Blake Carroll.
"I was worried that something else would happen to him," the fifth-grader said. "I wasn't expecting it to end the way that it did. I might remember it the rest of my life."
Blake is now getting the superstar at his school, Saucier Elementary.
"My teacher said, 'There's our celebrity hero,' and everybody started clapping," Blake said.
Those who know him best say this kind of thing isn't a surprise.
"He's got a kind heart," said friend Zachary Broussard. "Very generous, nice kid."
The celebration included a special lunch, purchased and delivered by principal Cindy Grimes.
"We talk a lot here about being respectful and responsible, and what he did yesterday was probably the most responsible thing any student could ever do," Grimes said. "We're just so proud of him."
Lt. Robert Lincoln was resource officer for the school for years and has known Blake for a while.
"We searched for that child for hours and Blake gets off the school bus, and just him paying attention, he did our job really quickly and really effectively," Lincoln said.
And, there was a second hero - family dog Jezebel was by his side the entire time he was missing.
"Ever since she was a puppy, they've been really close," said Chelsea Noble, William's mother. "He loves feeding her. He loves helping bathe her. That's his dog. After this, I believe there's no changing that part. She saved my baby. Her and that little boy saved his life."
The celebration continues on Oct. 13 when Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson will give Blake special recognition at Saucier Elementary School.
Noble was later charged with misdemeanor child neglect after investigators found that she was not properly supervising the toddler.