DNR Conservation Officer Describes Finding Missing Girl - Northern Michigan's News Leader

DNR Conservation Officer Describes Finding Missing Girl

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Hundreds spent last night and today searching for Amber Smith.

Just as the search hit the 24-hour mark, it was a DNR Conservation Officer who came across the missing girl.

It's a homecoming that many were concerned wouldn't be so happy.

Tonight, Officer Jeff Ginn is credited with bringing Amber home.

"We would just go down every two track and roadway that we could find, we just checked everything," says Ginn.

The search for Amber Smith brought the DNR Conservation Officer to the right two-track at the right time.

"I came up a ridge line, crested the ridge, and observed the victim standing near a brush pile about 20 yards away from me, 30 yards away from me," Ginn described the discovery.

Amber was not only alive, but seemingly unhurt.

"She was quite afraid, she was standing there staring at me," explained Ginn, "and I just hopped off the four-wheeler and ran over to her and picked her up, and I radioed for the other units to stop so I could make my way down to the trail."

Crying at first, her rescuer says he could tell she was relieved to finally be found.

A feeling also felt by others searching for the toddler.

"When I heard Officer Ginn call out on the radio to stop, stop, stop, and then I heard on the radio that we had found her, my heart dropped a little bit because of how things could have went," says DNR Conservation Officer Michael Wells.

For many, it will be a rescue to remember.

"When he came walking out the woods with that little girl in his arms, and her head was up and her eyes were open, that's probably going to be one of the best points of my career," says Wells.

Officers say thinking about their own kids kept them motivated as they looked for Amber.