Florida Girls Lost In Woods Saved By Light Up Sneakers

Lakeland, FL – Three girls lost in the woods were rescued due in large part to their light up sneakers. Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies spotted the Florida girls by helicopter late Monday evening. The girls were approximately three miles from their home when they were found.

Aubrey Shaffer, 9, Grace Shaffer, 6, and a 13-year-old friend took what they thought was going to be a short hike in the Lakeland woods to see some horses. The happy little excursion turned into a nightmare when the trio of girls got lost.

Missi Shaffer, the mother of the two youngest girls, recalled feeling so panicked when she couldn’t find her daughters that her chest began to hurt. The worried mom called law enforcement officers for help when she could not find the girls by 7:30 pm. The Florida mom said, “I can’t explain it. Knowing they’re out there and you can’t do anything for them.”

As search and rescue workers ventured into the wooded area to look for the girls, the sky was already getting dark. The teenage girl was able to catch a cell signal and called her mother to tell her they were lost – and then the phone died.

Aubrey Shaffer carries an old cell phone her grandmother gave to her. The phone only calls 911 – but that was the only number the girl needed to reach to try and end the harrowing experience.

The law enforcement officers in the helicopter were able to located the girls using flashes from their light up sneakers and the dim light from grandma’s old cell phone. Little Grace was “clapping” her shoes together to make them light up repeatedly.

Grace said at one point she heard a noise in the woods that she felt might be a wild hog. The 6-year-old was very afraid and told the others that she wanted to turn around and try to find their way back.

Polk County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Donna Wood said the old cell phone might have saved their lives. Wood noted that the emergency use only device was like their own “little personal beacon.”

The lost Florida girls spent four hours wandering around the woods. While they may never have spotted any horses, the trio of Sunshine State hikers likely had more than enough adventure for one day.

[Image Via: Shutterstock.com]

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