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'Missing' girl safe at home
A nightmare scenario turned into a good news story Tuesday afternoon when a three-year-old girl was found safe at home after a high-energy search by police and the public.
RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said he was impressed with the response from the public when word got out the girl might be missing in the Sylvan Crescent area of Parksville at 1:40 p.m. Tuesday. Police and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue reacted swiftly and helicopters were seen searching the area, seemingly only 10-20 metres above the rooftops of homes.
In the end, the search was called off at 2:45 p.m. when the girl was found safe at home, despite multiple searches of the house by the family and police before the wider effort was unleashed.
"She was very small and was (sleeping) in a crack in the couch under a blanket," Foreman told The NEWS. "She woke up as if nothing happened."
Foreman said he was impressed with the response from the public. He said residents living near Sylvan Crescent and the Mark's Park area came out of their houses right away and joined the search, along with some construction workers and roofers who were busy in the area.
“What was clear from the start was community members were not going to rest until the girl was located,” Foreman said later Tuesday in a news release. “It was moving to see every neighbour, resident, construction worker, city employee and child out in the street and in the parks immediately mobilizing and searching. We are blessed to live in a safe area where neighbours care for one another.”
“The community came together like something I’ve never seen before,” Foreman told The NEWS. “In the end, a very positive story.”