Missing 3-Year-Old Girl Found in Eastern Washington by Sheriff's Drone Pilot


A 3-year-old girl who ran off from her family's home outside of Ellensburg was found after a two-hour search Tuesday.

Kittitas County sheriff's deputies were called around 9:20 a.m. for a report of the missing girl, whom family members said ran off into sagebrush around the remote home in the Umptanum area, according to a sheriff's office news release. The family searched for 20 minutes before calling for help.

Deputies arrived at the scene within minutes and called in the Kittitas County Search and Rescue Team, which included tracking dogs, the release said. Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue and the sheriff's office deployed drones to assist with the search, the release said, and plans were made to bring in a state helicopter with infrared sensors.

Two hours into the search, a sheriff's drone pilot spotted the toddler in the brush, and was able to direct the girl's grandmother and other searchers to find her in a shallow ravine 300 yards from the house, the release said.

She was not injured, according to the release.