UPDATE: Missing boy found safe inside Madison church - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Missing boy found safe inside Madison church

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By Teresa Mackin - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- Two tense hours were followed by relief for the parents of a missing three-year-old in Madison.

Eli Petzold and his dad were at a play-group at a Madison Church, when church members realized Eli was missing.

Madison police responded with a massive search, conducting a reverse 911 call, putting up message boards with Eli's name and description on Gammon Road, even sending out three K-9 officers to look for him.

Shortly before 1 p.m. police tell 27 News they found the boy safe and sound, sleeping underneath a bean bag, inside the church.

Captain Jay Lengfeld, with the Madison Police Department, says, "When you're missing a three and a half [year-old] there's all kinds of scenarios that go through your mind: you're trying to cover each one of those, so it was a great relief to find the child."

Bill Dickmeyer attends church with the family. He spoke on behalf of the family saying they were grateful for the effort of the Madison Police Department. He says, "When I heard the news about it, was shaking in my understanding of what it would be like to lose my kid for a half hour, let alone two hours. They're obviously relieved."

Police searched the inside of the church quickly the first time through, then were heading back through systematically when they found the boy.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A happy ending in the search for a missing boy on Madison's west side Tuesday morning.

Madison Police tell 27 News that after a more thorough search of Lutheran Church of the Living Christ on N. Gammon Rd., three-year-old Eli Petzold was found safe.

We're told he was found under a pile of bean bags on the second floor of the church, where he had crawled to apparently go to sleep.

Teresa Mackin is on the scene and will bring us the full story of just what happened here on WKOWTV.com and tonight at 5, 6 and 6:30.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Police officials are currently staging a search operation on Gammon Road for a missing three year-old boy.

A Madison Police official told 27 News the child was last seen over an hour ago. The official said the child is in a playgroup at Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, at 110 N. Gammon.

Canine units have arrived at the search scene.

Police officials say the boy's name is Eli Petzold.

He has blonde hair and was last seen wearing a blue top and tan pants.

Church family ministry coordinate Michelle Amick said the boy was among toddlers and infants who were here for a play group. Amick said church parents weekly meet at the facility to allow their children to play and socialize.

Church staff member German Castelannof said Eli was last seen around 10:30 this morning.

Castelannof said Eli's father was at the church repairing equipment. Castelannof says church members searched rooms and other spaces on the property, but could not find the boy.

Authorities are considering using an area-wide reverse 911 call, to alert the immediate community of the boy's disappearance.

On the busy road near the church, police officials have set up a digital sign displaying information on the lost boy.

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MADISON (WKOW) --- Madison Police say they have been called to the area of Gammon Road and Old Sauk for a report of a missing 3-year-old. 

Police are staging a search at the Lutheran Church of the Living Christ on Gammon Road.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will update you on this story here on WKOWTV.com

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