A pilot flying a Cessna 206 carrying a few adults and four children reported engine trouble before the plane disappeared in Colombia on May 1. But on Monday, two weeks after a huge team of soldiers searched the area, the bodies of the pilot, co-pilot, and children's 33-year-old mother were found dead in the Amazon jungle — but the kids (ages 13, 9, 4, and 11-months-old) were not at the scene of the crash.
By Wednesday, however, after search teams, including sniffer dogs, found a "child's drinking bottle, a pair of scissors, a hair tie and some half-eaten fruit," as well as a shelter put together with found sticks and branches, reports have come in from different sources that the children have been found alive and in good health.
The search teams have, however, found clues indicating that the children, who are from the Huitoto indigenous group, survived the crash. …
"We think that the children who were aboard the plane are alive. We have found traces at a different location, away from the crash site, and a place where they may have sheltered," Colonel Juan José López said on Wednesday.
Fearing that the children were wandering ever deeper into the jungle, the military deployed helicopters which played a recorded message from their grandmother in the Huitoto language urging them to stay put.
President Petro tweeted the news, saying they had been located "after an arduous search".
However, confusion arose when Colombia's armed forces said they themselves had not yet been able to make contact with the children "due to the difficult meteorological conditions and the difficult terrain" – and could not confirm the news of their rescue.
Meanwhile, Avianline, a local plane operator which owned the crashed plane, released a statement saying that it too had received reports that the children had been found.
Indigenous radio stations have also reported that the children were found by a local, and were being transported by river to Cachiporro.
This is all promising news, but officials — as well as the children's father — have still not seen or spoken to the children. Fingers are crossed.