Amid the plethora of panic that the world is feeling at this moment, it could be tough to imagine the sort of fear that one family in Alabama was feeling after their little girl went missing.
The story began ominously.
Evelyn Sides, who goes by Vadie, wandered off into the woods near Loachapoka, Ala., Wednesday afternoon.
A call went out a few hours later from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office: authorities were searching for a white female, “3′ tall and weighs 40 pounds. She has red hair and was wearing a blue print dress with green flower patterns. She may be accompanied by a hound dog, reddish in color with a collar.”
Vadie was under the watch of a caretaker who told authorities that the young girl simply vanished at one point during her walk with the family dog.
As it turns out, young Vadie couldn’t have been in better company at the time of her disappearance.
Lee County Sheriff’s deputies, K-9 units and volunteer fire and rescue personnel were on the trail. All told, hundreds of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies reportedly helped in the search, assisted by drones, people on horseback and even helicopters.
Concerned residents flooded the sheriff’s Facebook page: “Any updates?” “Has she been found?” “How can we help?”
After two nights of searching, the sheriff’s office on Friday opened the search to the public. It asked for “able-bodied persons in good physical condition” to help scout the “dense wooded terrain.”
Vadie was found with her dog, Lucy, just a few hours later, within a mile from where she was last seen.
Lucy skedaddled after rescuers arrived to attend to Vadie, but authorities reported later that the persistent and protective pooch got home safe and sound later in the day.