A photo capturing the moment a police officer reunited with a 3-year-old girl he rescued from the inside of a hot car is going viral.
The image shows Dep. Bill Dunn embracing the blonde little girl. Dunn had found the child unresponsive on Sunday, June 17, and, according to the caption, “pulled her out, put her under air conditioning in his cruiser, and rushed her to the hospital.” The SCSO added, “We’re so glad she’s made a full recovery. Well done, Dunn!”
Dunn was dispatched to the call of a missing child late Sunday morning. He located the vehicle and saw the child in a car seat in the back. Fortunately, it was not locked. When he opened up the door, he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “The rush of warm air practically smacked me in the face.”
He rescued the child, ran to his own cruiser, and put her in the air conditioning to try to cool her off. Soon, he says, “Her eyes started to flutter.”
With the child barely responsive and clearly in distress, Dunn rushed her in his patrol car to a nearby hospital, where a medical team was waiting.
The little girl had reportedly been left unattended in her family’s vehicle overnight on Saturday. Investigators learned that the child’s 33-year-old mother, Casey Dyan Kelle, went on a liquor store run late that night with her three children, returning home at around 11:15pm and taking her two older kids into the apartment, but leaving the 3-year-old girl behind. It wasn’t until the next morning, at 11am, that Keller realized the girl was not in the apartment, so she called 9-1-1 to report her missing
Shortly before the call was made, a neighbor had already contacted the police, leading Officer Dunn to her rescue after she’d been left unattended for approximately 12 hours.
Dunn credits the medical and police team’s quick actions and the little girl’s fighting spirit for her survival.
When she recovered, her father contacted the police department and investigators to thank Dunn; he Dunn asked if he could see her, and her father enthusiastically said yes.
“I was fortunate enough to be part of a miracle,” Dunn says.
Keller was arrested and charged with child neglect. Her bond was set for $15,000.
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