Safe & Sound: Michigan Toddler Found Sleeping With Pups Miles From Home
A two-year-old Michigan girl was found safe and sound several miles from her home curled up with her family's two dogs watching over her as she slept.
Police were called to a home in Faithorn, Michigan, a town located between Iron Mountain and Escanaba on the western edge of the Upper Peninsula, after two-year-old Thea Chase had wandered away from home.
Frantic Mother Scared for Her Toddler's Safety
In the video below, Brooke Chase says her daughter had been outside with her uncle as he was working in the yard. He told the girl to go inside because she didn't have shoes on. She said, "OK," but instead wandered off.
Chase tells WJMN-TV that she was frantic when she realized her daughter had gone missing.
"We're [searching] everywhere around here," she said. "It's completely wooded — deep, thick woods around here. There's a swamp over there, so of course we're, like, freaking out."
Family and friends searched for Thea for about 15 minutes before calling the police.
An Exhaustive Search
Local troopers, canine units, and civilian search and rescue volunteers all began an exhaustive search for the girl. Aerial drones were deployed to search the nearby woods.
Finally, around midnight, a civilian volunteer on a four-wheeler discovered the toddler.
Jeremy Hauswirth is a commander for the Michigan State Police Iron Mountain Post. He tells Insider that one of the family's dogs caught the attention of the volunteer. That dog - a rottweiler was standing guard while the little girl lay sleeping, using the family's cocker spaniel as a pillow.
Hauswirth believes the girl walked about three miles away from her home barefoot, with the dogs by her side.