Roughly 100 volunteers and two helicopters were searching with police in Butler County, Missouri, for a 3-year-old girl who went missing from her home in Qulin on Thursday night.
When she was found almost 12 hours later, sleeping in the rows of a cornfield, her family was relieved to see that she wasn’t alone: The girl’s pet Yorkshire Terrier, Fat Heath, was by her side.
Remy Elliott had wandered off in the cornfield surrounding her house around 8 p.m, local CBS affiliate KFVS reported.
“I looked for her by myself thinking maybe she was just in the woods or somewhere where I just couldn’t see her,” Remy’s mom, Timber Merritt, told the outlet. “And I was calling for her and calling for her, and when she wasn’t calling back I realized I don’t think I’m going to find her on my own.”
Merritt reached out to friends, family and local law enforcement for help. Soon, a search party had formed.
“It went from five people to about 75 to 100 people out here by the time we were done,” Merritt said.
“It was stressful and emotional,” family friend John Copp told KFVS. “We were all just walking back and forth from one end to the other just yelling her name. All the flashlights started dying and the sheriff’s office decided to call if for the night.”
The problem was, the rows of corn can act as sound barriers, volunteer Makayla Hardcastle explained to the news station.
“The corn feels like razor blades cutting you, especially for a child,” she said. “And you don’t hear well in the corn either, so when somebody is yelling your name you can hear them but you don’t know where it is coming from.”
This is what #Community looks like. Law enforcement, 1st Responders and community volunteers coming together to find a missing child. Her dog stayed by her side all night. #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/aIDMtG6JTW— MSHP Troop E (@MSHPTrooperE) June 15, 2018
It was Merritt’s brother, Quinlin, who eventually found Remy. She and her dog, Fat Heath, were sleeping on some broken corn stalks about half a mile away the house.
“She was definitely exhausted, hot, really sweaty and it took a while to drink anything,” Merritt told KFVS. “She said she wasn’t scared because Fat Heath was there. If he wasn’t I think she would’ve been terrified.”
Remy was taken to the Black River Medical Center in Poplar Bluff and later checked out. She didn’t have any reported injuries, aside from a sea of mosquito bites.
“I’ve never seen that many mosquito bites,” Merritt told the outlet. “We are going to give her a bath and keep putting medicine on it.”
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Merrit added that the entire experience of searching for her daughter was stressful.
“I feel a lot better, especially since we know she is okay,” Merritt revealed to KFVS. “She is back to her normal self now.”
To make sure it doesn’t happen again, the family will “hopefully put a fence around the yard, or keep her inside,” the mother of three added with a laugh.