Every once in a while, a life-affirming news story comes along, and yesterday was one of those days: Missing 5-Year-Old Girl found alive After 2 Days
(CBS) MOMENCE, Ill. A 5-year-old girl who vanished for almost two days after going on a boating trip walked up to searchers on Friday — naked, scratched and holding mulberries — hours after her grandfather’s body was pulled from an eastern Illinois river.
Knowing that Dave Klamecki, 62, was dead made it all the more stunning when searchers saw Hannah Klamecki, a little dirty but unhurt, walking out of the woods toward them just before 10:30 a.m., Kankakee County sheriff’s officials said.
“I’m incredibly amazed,” Hannah’s father, Mike Klamecki said. “She’s afraid of bugs. She’s afraid of the dark. She’s afraid of getting dirty. She can’t really swim. And so everything that she went through is everything that she’s not.”
She actually walked up to the search party at 10:30 a.m., holding berries in her hands for her grandmother to bake with. A missing 5 year old, missing 40 hours and having spent two nights alone, in the woods, walked right up to the search party.
When does that ever happen?
She was very scratched up, and dirty, and naked — she took off her bathing suit because it was very dirty, so her grandma could wash it. And she just walks right out of the woods. The rescuers were amazed, as one can one will imagine.
Her grandfather, who had gone boating and swimming with her, was not as fortunate. His body was found in the river earlier, and the search party was convinced that she too had drowned.
The girl’s father is head pastor at New Hope Community Church in Villa Park, just a few miles down the road from here.
So even though his own father died, his daughter survived, and if somebody has to die, this is the way we’d all want it to play out.
Parents everywhere can take strength from knowing that sometimes, miracles do happen.
Especially, weighed against this other local story that came out Thursday. There are a few things that just don’t look right, there. And in any case, a young mother and her three kids are dead. I hate to say it, but that Dad looks guilty to me. But enough about that.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and as a Dad for going on 19 years, with three sons, I’d rather think about the positive, life-affirming, miraculous story today, than about the one where it appears a father killed his whole family.
And I love this quote from little Hannah, to her mother, on why she took off her suit: “It got all muddy. I took it off.” Well, sure. As far as she knows, when clothes get dirty, you take them off, and like magic, they are returned to you, clean and folded. And while you’re out wandering for two days, naked and cut up, separated from your grandfather, why not pick some berries so Grandma can bake something yummy when you get back?
This is a child who simply does not panic. And she is probably alive today because of it. She’s not even my kid, and I’m proud of her!
- Missing 5-year-old found alive (ABC7),
- Searchers: 5-Year-Old’s Survival A ‘Miracle’ (NBC5),
- ‘It’s a miracle’: How 5-year-old was found (Chicago Daily Herald)