A two-year-old girl who ran away from home with her two dogs has been found fast asleep in a remote forest three miles away, using one pet as a “furry pillow” while the other watched over her.
Thea, from the rural town of Faithorn in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, decided to go on an adventure Wednesday after her mother Brooke turned her back.
The toddler and her two dogs walked three miles together through the wooded area before she got tired and decided to rest.
When she got home, her panicked mother frantically shouted Thea and the dog’s names before her family and friends joined her in search of their family garden and the surrounding dense forest.
After 15 minutes without success, Brooke called troopers from the Michigan State Police Iron Mountain post at 8 p.m. Wednesday and a manhunt was launched.
Troopers used drones and police dogs in the search, while 50 local police and residents from both Michigan and neighboring Wisconsin helped search for Thea in the remote wooded area.
It was around midnight when a resident on an ATV found Thea sleeping about three miles from her home, using her smaller dog as a furry pillow while the larger dog watched over her, police said.
Thea, from the rural town of Faithorn in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, decided to go on an adventure Wednesday after her mother Brooke turned her back. Pictured: Thea with her father Alex and mother Brooke after she was found in the woods with her two dogs
Brooke, who has previously shared photos of Thea lying on their family Rottweiler Buddy at their home, said she is ‘still in shock’ after the ordeal. It is not clear whether Thea was missing with Buddy
Lt. Mark Giannunzio said Thursday: She lay down and used one of the dogs as a pillow, and the other dog lay right next to her and kept her safe. It really is a remarkable story.’
Brooke, who has previously shared photos of Thea lying on their family Rottweiler Buddy at their home, said she is ‘still in shock’ after the ordeal.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘It was the nightmare I never wanted to experience. I’m so glad my little girl is home safe with us tonight. Her dogs kept her safe. I’m still in shock.’
Brooke, who sat next to her Alex while Thea sat on his knee with a bottle, told WJMN Local 3 that as soon as she noticed the toddler was missing, she ran to her uncle to ask if he had seen her. A panicked search ensued, with the family frantically searching the property.
She said: ‘We searched all over the garden, up and down the road, screaming at the top of our lungs and shouting her name. We called for the dogs because they were also missing.
“Everywhere around here is completely wooded, there are deep dense forests here and there is a swamp, so of course we panic.”
Brooke added, “After 15 minutes of looking for her with our friends and family, I called the police because at that point I just didn’t know what else to do other than call the police.”
Faithorn is an unincorporated village located just east of the Wisconsin state line and approximately 60 miles southwest of Marquette, Michigan
Thea is pictured here with her father Alex, who rushed from home when he heard the toddler was missing
She said she called her husband Alex to tell him and he rushed home from work to join the search.
‘I called Alex home from work, he beat the police here. It just went from there. They had the drones, they had the dogs, it was hard for the dogs to find her because we have farm animals here.”
Brooke said she was extremely relieved when she was told Thea had been found safe and sound.
‘I’m still in shock. I was shocked that she literally went in in a split second.”
Giannunzio said Thea was checked by medical staff after she was found and appeared to be in good health.
Faithorn is an unincorporated village located just east of the Wisconsin state line and approximately 60 miles southwest of Marquette, Michigan.