Police footage shows the harrowing moments a group of Georgia officers rescued 2-year-old Kamiyah Vicks, who had been lost in the woods overnight

By Char Adams
June 29, 2018 10:42 AM

Newly released police footage shows the harrowing moments a group of Georgia officers rescued a missing 2-year-old girl who was lost in a thick wooded area overnight.

Kamiyah Vicks was reported missing in Port Wentworth Tuesday night and spent at least 15 hours on her own before rescue teams heard her cries in the thick, dangerous woods near her home, a Savannah Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

“It was extremely hot, inching toward 100 degrees on Wednesday. We were very, very concerned for her safety,” department spokesperson Bianca Johnson tells PEOPLE. “[Port Wentworth police] pretty much called all the neighboring jurisdictions in to help.”

Volunteers, firefighters and officers from multiple departments searched for the little girl in the woods and a pair of nearby ponds. It was a group of Savannah police recruits — Robert Parker, Ernest Mobley and Luis Esquina — who discovered the little girl just before 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Johnson says.

Savannah Police Recruit Robert Parker(left) holding Kamiyah Vicks
Port Wentworth Police Department

“They came in and they formed a line … and just started walking through the woods. At that point, they were not only looking for her, but any type of clue that she might have been in that area,” Johnson says, noting that it took the group about one and a half hours to find Vicks.

“They heard a cry and, when they did, they knew that it was a human cry and not an animal,” Johnson explains. They took off running and found her. She was hidden in a brush and you could see them pull her out of it.”


Video footage of the rescue shared on Facebook showed the group running toward the little girl, with the men screaming “That’s a child!” and “Where is she?!” Soon, one of the recruits is shown pulling the girl from the brush and holding her as he speaks softly.

“She was in very good condition considering the fact that she had been in the woods alone overnight,” Johnson tells PEOPLE of Vicks. “You’ve got rattlesnakes, bugs, spiders, everything.”

Savannah Police Department

Johnson says the toddler was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor cuts and was “miraculously” in good condition.

“Anyone could’ve found her, they just happened to be in the right place at the right time to hear that yell for help,” Johnson tells PEOPLE.

Vicks’ mother reported the child missing, Port Wentworth police Major Lee Sherrod told CBS News. Vicks was last seen when her mother was spotted pushing the girl in a stroller on Tuesday, according to CBS. The next morning, around 7 a.m., she was seen without the little girl.

Parker, Esquina and Mobley have graduated from the police academy, but are only in their second week of an eight-week training session with the Savannah Police Department, Johnson tells PEOPLE.

Esquina told CBS that finding the girl “was a relief.”

“It’s a 2-year-old baby, so I thank God every single day that He’s able to bless us and help us to get to where we’re at, and I thank God He was there on our side today,” he said.