Amber Smith being found by her rescuers
Amber Smith's father Dale Smith explains what his daughter told him.
The Smith house can not be seen even though it is 50 feet away.
NEWAYGO, Mich. (WZZM) - 2-year-old Amber Smith disappeared into the Manistee National Forest in Newaygo only to be found 24 hours later. As of Thursday she is still in the hospital recovering from minor injuries and will hopefully be home soon. Amber Smith's father Dale Smith tells us what his daughter remembers about her journey.
Standing in the thick woods next to his home Dale Smith recounts what his daughter told him about what happened. "She is telling me she followed the dogs into the woods, and she got turned around when the dogs left her," explains Smith.
Smith says he was in another room when he discovered Amber missing. He quickly went outside to look for her. "I asked her if she could hear me when I yelled for her she said she did," explains Smith. "I asked her why she didn't yell back and I didn't really get an answer out of her." This means that Amber was relatively close to the home at this time and worse she was in the woods with her coat, wearing only a shirt, a diaper, and no pants wanting to come home. "She did say she was looking for her mom and dad," explains Smith.
The woods around the house are thick, and because the main road is raised the house can completely disappear after only a few feet, add that to the fact that the underbrush in the woods is at eye level for a two year old--one can understand how easier it was to get lost.
At this point it is unclear what path or direction Amber took, but what had Dale Smith worried was more than just the coming cold. "We have a few black bears and wolves in the area some of them even come up on the property." Luckily for Amber, "the only thing she has been saying is that she seen chipmunks and squirrels," explains Smith.
And as day turned to night and temperature fell to 45 degrees search parties continued to look for the lost girl. "She said she fell asleep in the woods, and that she scraped her feet on the trees," explains Smith.
Amber eventually headed southeast of her home where she was found, a little worse for wear, nearly 2 miles away by rescuers standing in the middle of a two track. When Dale and his family heard the news they were ecstatic and grateful that their daughter would be coming home.
When Dale Smith was asked about his daughter's 24 hour journey he said that he is amazed that she did it, and is pretty sure that if he tried it would be pretty rough going.
The family would like to thank everyone that helped in the rescue effort, and for the prayers that helped bring their daughter home safely.