A Tawas City, Michigan, toddler who had wandered away from her home on Wednesday afternoon was safely found inside the woods after a 22-hour search operation. The little toddler, identified as 2-year-old Brooklyn Lynn Lilly, was reported missing by her family members at around 2.20 p.m. on Wednesday from their home, reports WNEM.
According to Michigan State Police Lieutenant Brian Cole, Brooklyn Lynn was found safe and sound in a wooded area by a K-9 officer. The toddler did not have any major injuries apart from a few cuts and bruises.
“We just want the public and everyone to know that she’s OK,” Cole said. “One of our K-9 officers found her.”
Brooklyn Lynn was apparently watched over by an elderly person at the time of her disappearance. The blonde toddler with blue eyes was wearing a pink winter coat, blue jeans, and black boots when she disappeared.
Following the news of her disappearance, a search operation was organized with the help of The Michigan State Police canine unit and aviation unit, reports ABC News. The dogs from the canine unit played an important role in the recovery of the little toddler from the woods before anything untoward happened. The close-knit community also played a crucial role in finding little Brooklyn Lilly with hundreds of volunteers coming forward to participate in the search operations. Now that the toddler has been safely found, they are heaving a collective sigh of relief.
A neighbor of the toddler’s family, Patrick McDonald, says, “The thing you have to worry about with kids, when they’re quiet something’s wrong. I mean she’s a 2-year-old and I have two daughters myself so I know what this is like.”
According to Janet Simpson, another neighbor, “There were a lot of people praying for her hoping that she would be found safely and I prayed that the family would be happy and reunited again. It’s just fun it’s a good thing.”
Earlier in the day, the family members of the little toddler had started losing hope with fears that the girl was probably abducted by someone. The manner in which the toddler was found is interesting in itself. According to police officials, Brooklyn was found by Trooper Denis McGuckin and his K-9, Jax who initially feared the worst after seeing Brooklyn not moving. However, moments later, she lifted her head up, looked back at the officer and his dog, and gave a huge smile – as if nothing had happened! The toddler was missing for over 22 hours when this happened.
Little Brooklyn was taken to a hospital for checkup where she was declared perfectly fine.
The exact sequence of events that led to the toddler wandering in to the woods remains a mystery. For now, however, it is a great relief to her family members that their little one is back home safe.
[Image Via MLIVE]