A missing two-year-old girl who walked barefoot more than three miles with her family’s two dogs was found sleeping off a wooded Michigan trail using the smaller dog as a pillow, authorities said.
Troopers were called to a house in rural Faithorn, Michigan, around 8 pm on Wednesday after the toddler, Thea Chase, had wandered away from the home, Michigan State Police Lt. Mark Giannunzio said on Friday.
Brooke Chase, Thea’s mother, said she had an instinct to check on her daughter who had been playing in the yard, and learned the toddler’s uncle told Thea to go inside because she had no shoes on.
When Chase and her brother-in-law realised Thea wasn’t in the house, she said she began to yell. They searched for about 20 minutes before calling Chase’s husband and police.
Michigan State Police put out requests for drones, search-and-rescue and canine teams, while members of the close-knit community formed their own search party to help locate the child.
Around midnight, a family friend searching for Thea came across the family’s Rottweiler, Buddy, who started barking as he approached. The toddler was discovered a short way off the trail, sleeping on the ground with her head atop Hartley, the family’s English Springer. When the ATV driver tried to get near the toddler to wake her up, the smaller dog growled, Chase said.