2-Year-Old Recovering at Grayling Hospital After Missing for Over 24 Hours
A 2-year-old safe and recovering now. After 27 grueling hours, police say they found her about half a mile from where she went missing in Oscoda County, tired and disoriented.
9&10 News has a crew at the hospital where Gabriella Vitale is recovering, and another in the area where she went missing, with a full report on the search effort that likely saved her life.
Police say Gabriella went missing around 8 Monday morning.
Dozens of people from several different agencies joined in on the search to find Gabriella.
Since she’s been found, we’ve been the only news organization to talk with her family.
Gabriella was found just before noon at a home about a half a mile from where she went missing, off Reber Road, west of M-33 in Comins Township.
The homeowners found her without her shoes or bottoms.
Tuesday night Gabriella is recovering at the hospital in Grayling.
Munson Healthcare tells us she’s in good condition and getting lots of love after being reunited with her family.
Just after 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, an Oscoda County ambulance brought Gabriella to the hospital.
State police shared a photo of her drinking some water, and snacking on a cookie just after they found her.
“Right now she’s getting fluids and vitals making sure everything is normal. She’s a little distraught from not seeing her family for so long for about 24 hours but she’s definitely accepting all the love, she wants hugs she doesn’t want to be let down, so she’s doing good.”
Her father Dominic Vitale was just getting off work downstate when he learned she was missing.
“I got a message from my friend saying did you find your daughter, I didn’t know what she was talking about at first until I saw a link, and when I saw the link, my heart just dropped. I didn’t really know what to think, all I could think of was holding onto the hope that she’s OK,” says Gabriella’s father Dominic Vitale.
Then he raced here.
“I was driving towards the site before I got there and I saw an ambulance come down the road and I immediately gassed it, I followed the ambulance, I came to the road, I jumped out the car, and as soon as somebody said they found her, I ran down straight until I found her,” he said.
“My knees gave out. It was one of the biggest sighs of relief that I’ve ever had in my entire life, it was something that I can’t really put into words but the fact that’s she’s OK it’s just a miracle, it’s a miracle,” he said.
In a statement, Gabriella’s mom thanks “the countless public safety officers, first responders, and those that helped locate our girl.” it goes on to say “please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we hold Gabriella in our arms.”
Dominic also has a message for those who helped find his little girl
“Thank you guys so much we really wouldn’t be having Gabriella healthy and in our arms without you guys. I’m forever in your guys’ debt,” Vitale said.
Dominic tells us that he does expect Gabriella to go home Tuesday night.
There really could not be a better end to this emotional story.