Authorities in Michigan said they spotted a toddler girl who had traveled barefoot over 3 miles with the family’s two dogs, using their smaller dog as a cushion.
Michigan State Police Lt. Mark Giannunzio told media outlets how
two-year-old Thea Chase went missing on a Wednesday night when she walked out of her home in rural Faithorn, Michigan.
Northern Michigan is home to the little community of Faithorn, which is located approximately a mile east of the Wisconsin border.
Thea’s mother, Brooke Chase, claimed she felt compelled to check on her child after hearing Thea’s uncle say that he had instructed her to come inside since she wasn’t wearing shoes while playing in the yard.
Chase and her husband’s brother discovered Thea wasn’t there. After a quick search, they called Chase’s husband and the authorities.
The police said they used K9 units, search and rescue teams, drones, and a large number of officers and residents to conduct a massive search operation.
Giannunzio said the Michigan State Police requested drones, search-and-rescue teams, and canine units to assist them in finding the youngster, who was thought to be in the densely forested area surrounding the house.
According to Chase, the family’s Rottweiler, Buddy, began barking at a friend looking for Thea on an ATV shortly before midnight, approximately 4 hours after authorities were called.
A little distance off the route, the 2-year-old was found lying with her head on the family’s English Springer. The smaller dog barked at the ATV driver when he got too close to the sleeping child in an attempt to wake her up.
Chase recalled Thea saying, “Hi, Mommy!” as she rode home on the ATV.
She jokingly said that Thea has the dogs entirely under her control.
After a thorough examination, the medical team determined that Thea was in excellent health. Police believe that the positive outcome was the result of community efforts and the cooperation and coordination of several government and volunteer entities.