The Groton Fire Department, in conjunction with the Police Department, searched and found two missing girls who were reported missing along the trail system behind Groton Memorial Park on Jan. 11. Both girls, one 10-year-old, the other’s age unknown, were missing for approximately three and a half hours. According to a statement by Fire Chief Ben Nelson published on the department’s Facebook page, the fire department was contacted by the police department during the late afternoon to help assist the search for the two girls.
“At approximately [3:45] this afternoon, the Groton Fire Department was requested to assist Groton Police Department in the search for two missing girls who had wandered off on the trails behind the park on Sykes street,” Nelson wrote. “Crews were assigned to certain areas of the trail system to search the trails, while other resources were sent to check certain areas.”
Nelson said the two girls were found safe about an hour and 15 minutes after receiving the request from the police department.
“The girls were found about a mile away from the park, safe and unharmed around 5 p.m.,” he wrote. “Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department went to the location of the girls and reunited them with their family.”
According to Cheryl Rose, one of the family members of one of the children, a woman in the area in which the two girls were found allowed the girls to use her home phone to call their family.
“My family and I want to personally thank all those who played a part in the search,” Rose wrote in a statement on Facebook. “Thanks to the Groton Volunteer Fire Dept., Chief Ben Nelson and all those who responded to the call for help in searching the trails. The Groton PD and Tompkins County Sheriff’s Dept. for the officers who responded. The friends and church family from Groton Assembly of God who came to help and prayed. The different people who were out walking and started searching when we asked if they had seen the girls. Also the woman who opened her door and let the girls call their family for help! You all are the reason Groton is a great place to live! God bless you all!”
Nelson offered his thanks to everyone involved in the search process for the two girls in his statement.
“I’d like to thank the members and families of the Groton Fire Department, McLean Fire Department, Groton Police Department, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response, and most of all, the Groton Community, for your support and assistance in reuniting these girls with their family,” he wrote. “When it comes to searching for anyone, especially children, emotions are certainly high. Instinct tells us to go right out and start looking. The best thing anyone can do is to check in with officials in charge of the search and await instructions from them.”