Authorities announced on Twitter that they found 2-year-old Gabriella Vitale alive more than 24 hours after she was first reported missing

By Char Adams
July 16, 2019 11:11 AM
Michigan State Police

Police have found a 2-year-old girl who was lost in a wooded area for more than a day after wandering away from her family during a camping trip, authorities say.

Michigan State Police announced the discovery in a Twitter post late Tuesday morning — more than 24 hours after they were called in to find Gabriella Vitale. Authorities simply tweeted: “Great news!!! Gabriella has been found alive.”

Vitale’s family was preparing to leave the campsite in Comins Township on Monday morning when they realized the little girl was nowhere to be found, according to a statement from the Oscoda County Sheriff’s Office, which confirmed the disappearance to PEOPLE.

Authorities called the disappearance a “very emotional situation.” The family reported the incident and both the sheriff’s office and Michigan State Police were on the scene to look for the girl.

“Please be on the look out for Gabby!” Sandi Vitale wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “And everyone please keep praying to bring this baby back home. Please someone find her…”

The search for Gabriella Vitale
Michigan State Police

The toddler vanished while wearing a pink zip-up jacket with a gray shirt, pink bottoms and tennis shoes.

“Gabriella’s pink jacket has been found several hundred yards south east of where she went missing,” Michigan State Police tweeted on Monday, noting that the little girl “wandered from her camp site.”

Authorities searched through the night and into Tuesday morning, with the public volunteering to help in the search and donating resources, police said on Twitter.

The Michigan State Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

A command post was set up in the search, and canine teams along with a helicopter were deployed in efforts to find the girl.

“The amount of volunteer Search and Rescue teams who’ve reported to the command center is remarkable,” state police tweeted Monday night. “Plans are being made for overnight and first thing in the morning. Keep Gabriella and her family in your thoughts as the search continues.”