AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Searchers on Friday found a 4-year-old girl who had been missing for two days in a wooded area in east Alabama.
The girl — Evelyn “Vadie” Sides — was in good condition with her hound dog, Lucy, at her side when rescuers approached, authorities said.
While being checked at a local hospital, Vadie said the first night she slept by a road and the second night in the place where she was found.
She explained she had been walking the dog and began running and became lost. She said she called for her Nanny, but Nanny was too far away.
During her time in the woods, she said she slid down a waterfall but was brave and didn't go in. She also said she and the dog became separated at one point but she found the dog.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said searchers found Vadie after two days of searching in some woods near her home a half mile west of Auburn.
Authorities said the child had disappeared Wednesday afternoon from her babysitter, who is in her 70s and who also watches the girl's infant sister. The girl had been walking her dog in a backyard when she vanished.
Jones said the girl is in good condition despite her ordeal. The hound dog was at her side when she was found.
"We are beyond happy," Jones wrote in a text message about the discovery of the girl.
Multiple agencies and hundreds of volunteers had searched remote woods with a creek running through it.
A member of the search team that found the girl told media outlet WRBL-TV that they were searching the woods when they heard a dog bark, and then the girl "popped her head up" and they saw her bright red hair.
He said the girl drank some Gatorade offered to her and was talking "like it was no big deal" what she had been through. The station reported that the dog initially ran away when rescuers approached, but later came home on its own.