Missing Toddler Found in Harleton Search - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/07/04 - Longview

Missing Toddler Found in Harleton Search

      A desperate search for a missing girl in Harrison County ends with the tearful reunion, as the child is found unharmed. It was between 7 and 7:30 last night that a 2 and a half year old girl was walking between her home and her cousin's home, less than a 200 yard distance , when she disappeared.

     "They said that she's not here, and that she hasn't been here and we all just panicked," said the child's mother, Brook Cole. Parents say Kaitlyne Cole had made the walk many times, but this time she was no where to be found.  An anxious search began, deeply effecting those in the search.

   "How could you go on if your child was missing? How could you face day to day? What would you do?" asked searcher Mike Brittain. More than 150 sheriff's deputies and volunteers swarmed over a 100 acre area trying to find her.  Four-wheelers were used, horses, helicopters using thermal imagers.  Every bush, every brushpile was searched, but after more than13 hours, there was no sign.

   "We've done manual searches of all the vehicles of all the structures on the properties.  We've interviewed family members, and at this time all we can tell you is we have a missing child," said Harrison County Sheriff, Tom McCool.

   Just when crews were saying they had searched all they could and were considering widening there search area, radio traffic reported someone had heard a child's voice. She was cold, and little dirty and dehydrated, but safe. She spent the entire night outside, sleeping in a dry creek bed less than a mile away from her home.

   "I just screamed, and cried.  I was so excited," said her mother. Kaitlyne was taken to the hospital for observation, but is doing fine. Sheriff's deputies say this isn't the first time they've searched for the little girl. She was also reported missing a few months ago. But she was found right away behind the family's home.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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