The search for missing 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin came to a heartbreaking end on Thursday afternoon when the little boy's body was found in a forest clearing. Officials say Noah was found around 1.5 miles from where he disappeared a week ago near his grandmother's home in Pinson, Tenn., NBC News reports. The body was found hours before bitterly cold weather would have forced law enforcement to suspend the search, which had been joined by hundreds of volunteers who scoured more than a thousand acres of rugged terrain, WREG reports. The Madison County fire chief says Noah's body was found near the edge of the search zone, in an area that had only been searched once before, the Jackson Sun reports.
Authorities believe Noah ran off while walking in the woods with his grandmother and 4-year-old sister; police don't suspect foul play. Andy Morris, the family's pastor, tells the Sun that the toddler's family want him to be remembered for the way he brought the community together. "They're asking right now that they have time to mourn and to love on each other as they go through this time of loss," he says, but "they beg you to continue to pray and continue to keep this heart of service and heart of compassion for other people and other humans." He tells the Sun that he remembers Noah as a lively boy who was "100mph with whatever he did." "And I know this, and feel confident being able to share this, the mom just got through praying, 'Jesus better have his ice skates on to keep up with him,'" he says.