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Missing three year-old child found in -10 temps

by Tom Coombe

A potentially tragic situation on Tuesday morning had a happy ending, thanks to the efforts of the Ely Police Department and a canine dog.

Authorities found a missing three-year-old girl inside the front porch of a vacant Ely home, about an hour after she was reported missing from her nearby home.

The girl had gone missing as temperatures dipped to approximately -10 degrees, and she was very cold and slow to respond when she was located.

According to a news release from the Ely Police Department, the girl was taken by ambulance to Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and later transported to a higher level of care.

She is now in stable condition, according to the release.

Police had responded just after 5 a.m. Tuesday, to a report of a missing child from a residence on the 400 block of East Washington Street in Ely.

The child’s father had called 911 and said he was unable to locate his three-year-old daughter, and that he found an exterior door open and her boots gone.

The Ely Police Department arrived a short time later, met with the father and began searching for the child.

Other area agencies also responded, including the Virginia Police Department with its canine Teddy.

The dog was able to lead officers to a vacant house next to the missing child’s residence.

According to police, the vacant house had an unlocked front door to an unheated front porch area.

At approximately 6:07 a.m., officers entered the front porch and found the missing child.

According to police, the child was “very cold, had slow response to officers but was breathing.”

Officers immediately began attempting to warm the child up and brought the child back home until the ambulance arrived.

In addition to the EPD and Virginia canine unit, assisting on the call were the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Babbitt Police Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Ely Fire Department/First Responders, Ely Area Ambulance Service and Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital.

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