A 4-year-old Rice County girl was found safe early Wednesday morning after she disappeared Tuesday evening from her home.
The Rice County Sheriff's Office says 4-year-old Sawyer Hanson was found at 1:36 a.m. Wednesday about half a mile north of her home, located on Lamb Avenue in Wheeling Township, a few miles south of Nerstrand (and a few miles northwest of Kenyon). The girl has been safely reunited with her family.
Hanson was seen in her family's yard, which borders a cornfield, at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday before she vanished, the Sheriff's Office says.
In addition to Rice County deputies, numerous agencies then searched the area for hours -- including fire and rescue personnel from Kenyon, Nerstrand, Wanamingo, Faribault, Northfield and Medford. The Minnesota State Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, Faribault Police, Kenyon Police and Northfield Police helped with the search as well. A helicopter also scoured the area.
According to officials on scene, Hanson eventually walked out of a cornfield that had not been searched yet. A family member standing out on the road saw her, then took her to an officer.
"She's been checked out. She's smiling. She's just mad she lost the cat," an official said.
“We are so thankful to all of the firefighters, ambulance personnel, law enforcement and everyone who worked together to bring this to a positive resolution," said Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn in a statement. "We had over 150 first responders and dozens of friends and family looking for little Sawyer. We are blessed to have her safely home.”
More details are expected to be released Wednesday morning.