An extensive 24-hour search for 2-year-old Gabriella Vitale in a heavily wooded area of Oscoda County is over with a very happy ending. Michigan State Police announced the discovery in a Twitter post late Tuesday morning — more than 24 hours after they were called in to find Gabriella that she had been found alive.

Gabriella went missing on Monday, which launched an urgent search. The family told police that they had been camping in a wooded area for a few days and were getting ready to leave Monday morning when they noticed that she was gone. The toddler walked to a home between a quarter-mile and a half-mile away from the police command center that was set up during the search. The homeowner then telephoned authorities.

The happy outcome was great and relieving news for the family as well as the over 50 searchers and 10 canines units that were looking for the little girl. Gabriella's mother, Alyssa Bijarro, issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“We would like to express our thanks to God for keeping our sweet Gabriella safe. Thank you to the countless public safety officers, first responders, and those that helped locate our girl. We are forever grateful to the Fairview Community, especially the local, state and DNR officers. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we hold Gabriella in our arms.”

The family, who reside in Monroe, Michigan, is feeling very blessed today and holding their little one extra close.

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