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Missing three-year-old found

A three-year-old Montcalm County girl was missing for three hours Monday before being found by police.

According to Howard City Police Chief Steven DeWitt, the Howard City Police Department was dispatched to an area in the 11,000 block of North Federal Hwy, in Reynolds Township on Monday, March 21, on a report of a 3-year-old missing girl, in a heavily wooded area. The child had wandered away from a guardian while going for a walk in the woods near the residence, and had been missing for about an hour.

A telephone alert system was used to automatically notify persons in the surrounding area of the missing child, and an Amber alert was issued to alert the general public.

The Michigan State Police, Montcalm County Sheriff Department and the Mecosta Co. Sheriff Department assisted Howard City Police. Over a dozen police officers were at the scene assisting in the search.

At one point, helicopters from the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Coast Guard were requested for assistance, as well as K-9 “Rock” tracking unit from the Michigan State Police Ionia Post, and tracking dogs from the Mid Michigan Working dogs volunteer organization.

The child was located by utilizing a K9 unit and searchers calling out her name. The child responded and was found behind a distant tree.

She was found about one mile from the residence, after wandering through a heavily wooded, swampy area. The child appeared to have crossed a stream at one point and was found soaking wet.

The victim was transported to a local hospital to be treated for exposure by  Montcalm County Ambulance. The victim appeared otherwise ok and told searchers that she “was lost” and “looking for home.”

The case remains open pending investigation.

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