Missing teen with special needs rescued in Tangipahoa Parish

Missing teen with special needs rescued in Tangipahoa Parish
Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 7:30pm

UPDATED: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 8:14pm

On Saturday October 12, 2013, at 12:13 PM, the sheriff's office was notified of a missing 13 year old Girl Scout with special needs who had been missing for about an hour from a camp in Independence. Deputies immediately responded and began to map out the area around Whispering Pines on Hwy 1054.

The area was searched by foot patrols, the TPSO Mounted Unit, and friends and family. US Customs, and Cpt Stuart Murphy arrived with a helicopter and began an air patrol. Edwards stated that they searched almost every inch of the lake when they saw a small area which had not been seen. The Custom's pilot maneuvered the chopper in such a way that they were able to see the 13 year old, struggling in the water. With help being too far away, the pilot placed the chopper several feet above the water, where Captain Murphy and the Custom's Co-Pilot were able to jump from the helicopter into the water and swim to the young female.

Aside from being her own hero today, much appreciation and thanks goes out to all TPSO team members and US Custom's pilot's Scott Bergeron and Carl Wegierski. TPSO Lt. David Scherer had the ground patrols organized and patrolling all areas while Captain Murphy was in the air. Within one hour, many families were saying prayers of thanks.

The 13 year old female was found in fair condition with minor injuries. She was graciously reunited with her family at the camp grounds and transported to a near by medical center for assessment.

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