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Police use thermal camera to find missing girl in Florida swamp

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Police used thermal imaging to guide officers to a five-year-old girl missing in a Florida swamp.

The girl, who has autism, wandered away from home Monday and was quickly reported missing, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

She was found later that day.

Thermal camera footage showed the little girl walking through ankle-deep water near Tampa.

“Hey, I think I got her in the woods,” a deputy in the helicopter said to his colleagues on the ground.

“She might be able to hear her name if you call her. She might be about 80 feet in front of you.”

A body camera recording showed the moment officers made contact with the child.

One of them called to her and raised his arms. The little girl also raised her arms and walked towards him and he quickly took the child into his arms.

“Let’s get you out of the water. I’ll take you to everyone,” he told her as they walked back through the woods.

A body camera recording shows the moment officers made contact with the girl.  Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office via AP
Picture:
A body camera recording shows the moment officers made contact with the girl. Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office via AP

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“Their quick action saved the day, turning a potential tragedy into a hopeful reunion,” the sheriff said.

“Their dedication shows how essential service and protection are here at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.”

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