Leader of search describes ‘great feeling’ to find missing girl

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The leader of the search for the missing 9-year-old girl said it was gratifying to find her.

“It was a great feeling when we hit that residence and she was alive and we were able to bring her home successfully,” said New York State Police Col. Richard Allen.

Allen said there are multiple aspects involved in a search like this. They bring in forest rangers, who are experts in grid searches. They had about 6,000 acres of park to search.

When the girl was first reported missing, there was no immediate indication that it was an abduction.

“We had a bike sitting in the road. No evidence of a struggle or a crime. Our first inclination is to search the woods. At the same time, we treat it as it could be an abduction,” he said.

“We had tons of resources committed to this to try to bring this to a successful conclusion,” he said.

Allen said authorities couldn’t immediately determine if it was a kidnapping but treated it as such by putting out an Amber Alert

“Every time a child walks into the woods and goes missing if we put out an Amber Alert, no one is going to pay attention to those Amber Alerts. They’re going to be out every day.”

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