Pilot from here hailed as a hero in lost boy's rescue

By MICHELLE PERRY State Journal Staff Writer Published:

The propeller on the nose of a Cessna 172 spins as pilot Chris Sutton prepares for takeoff. He's taking 3-year-old Ashton Smith for a ride.

The plane hurtles down the runway and lifts into the air, much as it did July 16 when Sutton and another pilot went on a search mission for Ashton, who was lost in the fields near his house.

Born and raised in Frankfort, Sutton is now a charter pilot at the Mount Sterling/Montgomery County Airport, and he wanted to show Ashton how he had spotted him and his dog, "Puppy," from the air.

Nick Marnye had flown the plane while Shane Barnes, a detective with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, and Sutton looked for the boy and his white dog.

"That's what I kept focusing on," said Sutton. "I was looking for something white."

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