BARTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A DNR conservation officer is being credited with finding 2-year-old Amber Smith, who was discovered in the woods in Newaygo County nearly 24 hours after going missing.
Officer Jeff Ginn says he was surprised to find the toddler alive after she spent the night in the cold fall temperatures.
“She was just standing there near a brush pile, and I approached her,” said Ginn. “She was afraid. I just picked her up, gave her a hug, and told her everything is okay,”
Ginn’s partner, DNR officer Michael Wells, said hearing about it on his radio was a big moment for him. “It was probably one of the biggest moments of my career. My heart skipped a beat.”
Newaygo County law enforcement said the area where the toddler was found was searched Tuesday night, but she wasn’t spotted because of the darkness.
Both officers Ginn and Wells say they have children of their own, so finding Amber and returning the toddler to her parents holds an extra special place in their hearts.