Several emergency crews searched for a missing toddler at Homer Lake


CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – It was a scary experience for everyone involved, after a toddler wandered away from their family at Homer Lake and couldn’t be found.

Everyone is home safe, but it took the work of several agencies to make sure the child was found safe.

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office got the call yesterday evening. The first call came in around 5:15. A mother couldn’t find her two-year-old at Homer Lake.

The sun sets less than an hour later. So, emergency officials were working against the light

Lorrie Pearson is the Executive Director for the Champaign County Forest preserve. She said her team was called shortly after the 911 call was made.

Crews from Homer fire and the Sheriff’s Office raced to the park to start looking for the child. They set up a command post, and Pearson said they quickly found the 2-year-old.

“Our little explorer decided to come out of the woods, and go toward all of the lights, and rescue teams, so it was a short duration of separation, of course, an awful one for the family to experience,” she said.

Pearson said the child was only missing for a few minutes. She said the two-year-old did exactly what they should have, walk toward the lights and first responders.

She said for young kids, that’s the best thing to do, or to make sure you stay on a trail. She said it’s easier to find your way out.

She also said to tell someone where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. That way, if something bad happens, someone will know to look for you.

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