GEORGIA (CNN/CBSDFW.COM) – Rescue crews found a missing 2-year-old girl in the woods near The Savannah Highlands area on Wednesday.
Before she was found, Kamiyah Vicks was last seen near a wooded area that borders the Lakeshore neighborhood, where her mother lives, in Port Wentworth.
Police said Vicks was found crying out in the woods in the area at 12:27 p.m. They said she had minor scrapes and cuts but was in “good spirits.”
Body cam video of crews finding the small child in the woods was released Wednesday evening.
The search party that found Vicks was composed of officers and firefighters from multiple departments as well as numerous volunteers. It was a team of Savannah Police recruits that found Vicks. Cadets Robert Parker, Luis Esquina, and Ernest Mobley say their team searched for about two hours before finding the toddler.
According to Major Lee Sherod from the Port Wentworth Police Department, the mother was pushing the child in a stroller around 5 p.m. Tuesday. She was later seen around 7 a.m. Wednesday without the child. Sherrod said she called police about Kamiyah.
Officials say they first found the mother in distress in what appeared to be a crisis situation. Once they deployed a search team for the child, they found the stroller knocked over and the mother’s flip-flops near a neighborhood pond. This helped narrow the search, but Port Wentworth officials called in Marine Control as they thought Kamiyah could be in the pond.
The cadets say they were in a report writing class when their corporal told them they would help search for the missing child.
“It was a relief,” Esquina said. “It’s a 2-year-old baby, so I thank God every single day that He’s able to bless us and help us to get to where we’re at, and I thank God He was there on our side today.”
They have all graduated from the Police Academy, but this is just the second week of their seven-week training session with Savannah PD. Many are grateful their training led to a life saved.
“It makes it easier when you work together. You can cover a lot more ground. We had a lot of people on the ground out here today doing searches, and that was helpful. Then, we brought the horses in. Every tool we were able to get, we got,” said Port Wentworth Public Safety Director, Matt Libby.
The mother was hospitalized and was interviewed by investigators from the Port Wentworth Police Department. Her daughter was also taken to the hospital.