Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spotsylvania, Virginia: Police helicopter spots missing children under log

Searchers find two children who’d wandered off in the snow

Two small children were found huddling under a large log for warmth Friday after they wandered away from their Spotsylvania home while it was snowing and lost their bearings.

The grandmother of the 5-and 10-year-old reported the children missing around 2:45 p.m. from their yard in the southern part of the county, near the Caroline County line, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. By then, the children had been missing for about 30 minutes.

Due to the sub-freezing temperatures, the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team called for assistance from Spotsylvania Fire and Rescue, the State Conservation Police and Emergency Management Services.

In addition, according to the release, a bloodhound from Caroline County helped out, picking up the children’s scent and noting the general direction in which they’d wandered.

Using that information, a Fairfax County Police helicopter and crew scanned the ground using infrared technology, and picked up a signal in a low-lying area near a pond, about a half mile from the children’s yard.

That’s where a search team on the ground found the two, crouching under a large log, trying to stay warm, the release said. After a quick check by medics, the children were returned to their family.

“This was a true team effort, with everyone working side by side to find those children before darkness overtook the area, making the search more difficult and further endangering the health and safety of the children,” Sheriff Roger Harris said in a statement. “It’s gratifying to see everyone’s efforts culminate in a happy and successful ending for all.”

—Edie Gross

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