In a miraculous conclusion, a 2-year old girl with autism who went missing from her campsite was found alive and well after spending a night alone in the woods.
Gabriella Roselynn Vitale was originally reported missing on Monday (July 15th) while on a week-long camping trip with her family in Oscoda County, Michigan. According to reports, the family had been busy cleaning up their campsite after in the early morning when the toddler managed to wander off.
What a trooper! The searchers are all clearing and the command center is packing up. pic.twitter.com/cUnUGN6dza— @MSPNorthernMI (@mspnorthernmi) July 16, 2019
The Oscada County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they received a call around 8:15 a.m. alerting them to the girl’s disappearance. They immediately launched a huge search party- which reportedly consisted of 50 people and 10 canines- to find the little girl.
"Deputies were sent to a wooded area about 3/4 mile west of M-33 on Reber Road in Comins Township, where they met with the child's family," they said in a statement released to the public.
In a series of Tweets, the Sherriff’s office kept the public updated on their progress. Later in the day, the search party stumbled upon the child’s coat. It was found "several hundred yards south east of where she went missing,” they revealed.
They also encouraged those volunteering with the search party not to move any evidence they might come across. "If you find clothing, please don’t touch (to keep your scent off)," a separate tweet added. "The best thing to do if you find something is to note the location and back out. This will keep the area as fresh as possible for our canine helpers."
The search continued on into the night after they failed to find Gabriella on Monday. Luckily, however, it was revealed the following morning that the toddler had been found safe and sound. "Great news!!! Gabriella has been found alive,” a tweet read.
It’s since been revealed that the 2-year old managed to walk up to a home that she stumbled upon, which prompted the homeowner to notify police. Though the tot was taken to the hospital upon her discovery, she was determined to be in good condition.
"Luckily there was a resident home at that residence at the time that she arrived," Lt. Travis House, a spokesperson for the Michigan State Police, said. "The resident had been contacted by us earlier, so she knew that Gabriella had been missing and she called." He added, "She is missing her bottoms and her shoes, but seems relatively unfazed for a 2-year-old who has been in the woods that long.”