This hero pooch apparently stayed with lost little girl for two days before she was found
Losing a child must be one of the most distressing things a parent, or anyone in a family, can go through. Losing them in a crowd at Disneyland is bad enough, but when they disappear for longer than 24 hours, as this two-year-old did, it must be unbearable.
Charlee Campbell wandered off into the woods, near Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, last Thursday. Once her family noticed the two-year-old had disappeared, search crews (including FBI agents) spent 32 hours looking for her. The terrain she had become lost in was described as rocky and full of snakes, but she was eventually found relatively unharmed, by a local resident.
On Friday afternoon, Charlee's mother, Natalie, said:
"She was out there all night last night. I won't stop until she's found. I don't care if the dogs have searched and no scent. I don't care. I'll look until she comes back or something."
"It just hurts when you can't find your kid, and you've got 100 people out here, and they can't find her either."
Wayne Brown eventually found the little girl, telling WDRB that he found her covered in dirt and with leaves in her hair, unresponsive to his questions. Finding Charlee meant even more to Wayne, as he had lost his brother when he was younger.
"He had wandered away from the home and he had climbed three fences," he explained. "They found him miles away from the house. It was actually my uncle that found him and he was dead."
According to Charlee's grandmother, Beth, their family dog looked after the child during the disappearance. Speaking to WIS-TV, Beth explained her belief that Penny the pit bull watched over Charlee over the two days she was gone:
"This is our hero right here. When my dog didn't come home, and my baby wasn't home, she was not going to leave that baby until she got here.
"I can't even explain how happy I am that this baby is home, because I love her more than anything in this world."
According to the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office, the dog arrived home moments before Charlee was found, which may back up Beth's theory that Penny wouldn't leave the two-year-old alone.
"I'm just so happy she's safe and alive, we're blessed she's healthy," Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said. "It was emotional for me. We didn't give up hope, but hope was going down for me."
"I honestly didn't think we were going to find her," Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Erik Butler added. "It's a miracle."
Charlee was transported to Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville, clutching a stuffed animal and still wearing the same Disney pajama top she was reported missing in. Police reported that she was found with "no obvious serious injuries," but was dehydrated and had some tic bites.
Police have stated they will conduct an investigation into the disappearance and that Child Protective Services are involved.