A search party found a 3-year-old girl more than 16 hours after she went missing. She disappeared from Yavapai County in Cordes Lakes, Arizona.
Victoria Bensch went missing from her home around five in the evening. She and her mother had just returned from a walk with their dog. Her mother went inside for a couple of minutes while Victoria stayed on the porch to play with their dog, Blue.
In just the few minutes she was inside, Victoria and Blue disappeared. According to Victoria’s aunt, Tracy Rutledge, “It was like she vanished, her and her dog.”
Investigators were hoping that Victoria had just wandered off and that she would be home soon. She was an adventurous child, and so she often loved to explore. They didn’t think that she had been kidnapped because the dog would have barked if anyone had approached.
The family searched for her for an hour before contacting authorities. By the time a search party arrived, they only had 30 minutes of daylight to search for her.
The overnight temperature for the area was in the low 30s, so they wanted to find Victoria as quickly as possible. However, they could only do so much in the dark.
When the sun came up, they started to search via helicopter. About ¾ mile from her home, Victoria and her dog were spotted. They were lying under a shrub in an area that she and her family knew well.
According to officers who were searching for Victoria, she is likely alive today because of the warmth of Blue, the family dog. When she was found, she was huddled up next to Blue.
When Victoria was finally found, her father shared that he couldn’t stop thinking about what could’ve happened to her. “Everything was going through my mind,” he said. “I’d really love to thank them all in person.”
What an incredible ending to the story! It’s amazing that Blue stayed right by her side all night to make sure she stayed warm.
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