A toddler who went missing likely walked 3 miles barefoot with her family's 2 dogs before she was eventually found napping with them, police say

A close-up of a dog's paws.
A Rottweiler's paws.Getty Images
  • A missing Michigan toddler made it three miles away from home with her two dogs.

  • A civilian volunteer found her asleep in the woods with her family's rottweiler and cocker spaniel.

  • She was discovered barefoot at about midnight and was in good health, police said.

A Michigan toddler who went missing most likely walked 3 miles barefoot with her family's two dogs at her side before she was found hours later napping in the woods with the pups, police say.

"It was a long way from home," Jeremy Hauswirth, the commander of the Michigan State Police Iron Mountain Post, told Insider of where the girl was found. "Best we can figure, she got on a trail and started trucking it with the dog. Barefoot, just headed for the sunset."

Brooke Chase, a resident of rural Menominee County on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, realized her 2-year-old daughter and two dogs, a rottweiler and a cocker spaniel, were nowhere to be found at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, the local outlet WJMN reported.

"We're everywhere around here," Chase told WJMN of the search. "It's completely wooded — deep, thick woods around here. There's a swamp over there, so of course we're, like, freaking out. And after about fifteen minutes of searching for her with our friends and family, I called the cops."

Chase's call sparked a four-hour-long coordinated search effort involving local troopers, canine units, civilian search and rescue volunteers, and aerial drones — all scouring the dark woods for signs of the missing girl, Hauswirth told Insider.

Finally, at about midnight, a civilian volunteer on a four-wheeler discovered the 2-year-old as he was headed to get more gas, Hauswirth said.

Hauswirth said one of the family dogs that had gone missing with the girl, the rottweiler, jumped out at the four-wheeler, grabbing the driver's attention. That's when, Hauswirth told Insider, the volunteer found the 2-year-old curled up sleeping on top of the other dog: the family's cocker spaniel.

She was about 3 miles away from her home.

The volunteer picked her up with no trouble, and she "crashed back out in his arms," Hauswirth said.

Hauswirth said he believed the toddler walked the whole three miles herself with the dogs walking alongside her.

"The rottweiler stays right next to her all the time. So I don't know if it had a collar or she just had an arm on it and was running. Because when a kid decides to go in a straight direction, they can make some tracks," Hauswirth said, adding that toddlers are "motoring machines."

The girl was checked out by medical staff and confirmed to be healthy, a police spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press.

Read the original article on Insider