Missing child found

Staff Report

BIDWELL — Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin has released details pertaining to a missing child who was originally reported as abducted Tuesday evening who has since been located and is safe.

“At approximately 8:30 p.m. on July 23, 2019, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the parent of a five-year-old female in the Bidwell area of Springfield Township indicating that the child had been abducted,” said Champlin in a statement. “Upon arrival deputies learned a black vehicle had pulled up in front of the residence where the young child and her brother were playing and confronted the children. The information that was available at the time of the report was that the brother fled from the area to the residence to alert his mother. By the time the mother arrived to the area where the children had been playing, both the young female and the vehicle were gone. Through review of a home security video from a residence close to the scene, we were able to partially corroborate the event as described by the brother of the young girl.’

“Based upon the facts available to our office at the time and the severity of this case, we immediately requested resources from the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Division and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T.),” the sheriff continues. “Both of those agencies responded to the scene and began assisting our office with this investigation. At approximately 11:20 p.m. investigators on scene located the missing girl after she emerged from a wooded area near the residence. It is our belief that the young girl was able to use the lighting provided by the aircraft searching the area to find her way back to safety after fleeing from the confrontation with the adults when the event occurred.”

The child was reported unharmed and returned to her family.

Champlin thanked coordinating agencies for their efforts including the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Division, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Child Abduction Response Team and Gallia 911 Communications Center.


Staff Report