UPDATE: Missing 3-year-old girl found safe, watching television in nearby garage
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—A missing three-year old was found a few blocks away from home, reportedly watching television in a neighbor’s garage Thursday morning.
“She seemed a little tired, that’s all,” said Alex Rhea who lives in the home where the little girl was found, “that’s the crazy part about it—the craziest thing that’s happened here.”
Rhea says his mother’s boyfriend was on his way to work Thursday morning when he noticed the door to the detached garage was open. Upon closer examination, Rhea says he saw a small dog barking inside, and a little girl sitting in a chair watching television at the bar.
“Then he comes out to call 911 and the cops pull up,” Rhea explained that the search party scouring the neighborhood for the missing three-year-old had made their way to the 4400 block of East Run Parkway where they live, just a few blocks away from where the girl went missing on South Colorado Avenue.
The girl’s family called 911 at around 5:30 a.m. but said the girl had been missing for about an hour. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) went door-to-door and searched the neighborhood for nearly three hours before tracking down the missing toddler.
“It’s a very bad situation,” said Officer Genae Scott with IMPD. Scott said both the three-year-old and the dog were safe and unharmed when they were found.
After being checked by medics on the scene, the little girl was reunited with her family.
“Parents should be cautious about what their children are capable of doing,” explained Scott, “if your child is known to open door locks when you’re not—and you sleep through it or something like that—you should invest in higher door locks.”
The three-year-old’s mother told FOX59 they found a dollhouse near the front door. The family believes the girl climbed on top of the toy, unlocked the door and walked out with the dog.
Tensions were high in the neighborhood as family and neighbors waited as search crews spent hours searching for the child. But a sigh of relief just before 7:30 a.m. when they received word that the girl was located, safe and unharmed.
Bryan Brooks lives in the neighborhood and was out walking with his four-year-old granddaughter Thursday. He heard the news and thought it was a “hand of God” that the three-year-old was unharmed.
“You just look at all the bad things and you look at that water and you just look at all the things could’ve happened, crossing that street and everything and she and she made it up and around here and into that garage,” Brooks added.