Police helicopter finds missing six-year-old girl asleep in Devon field

Camera pinpoints child asleep in pitch dark field after ‘every parent’s nightmare’

A six-year-old girl who went missing from her remote farmhouse home was found curled up asleep in a field after a police helicopter used an infra-red camera to pinpoint her in the pitch dark.

The National Police Air Service south-west team released footage of the moment the child was spotted by the camera in the corner of a field in north Devon. She had wandered more than half a mile from her home. She was checked over in hospital and reunited with her parents.

Describing the footage, an NPAS spokesperson said: “Here is the moment a police helicopter located a missing six-year-old child at night after every parent’s worst nightmare was realised.

“Missing from a farm in a rural setting at night, she was located in the pitch dark by our helicopter crew using their infra-red camera system. She was found asleep in a field, over a half a mile away from her home.

“In this instance, a massive team effort from the police control room, the police officers on the ground and the officers in the air [got] this child home safely to her terrified parents.”

The camera operator spotted the girl lying in the corner of the field. The child got up after being woken by the helicopter and an officer on the ground went to help her.

The National Police Air Service operates from a network of 14 bases across England and Wales.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesperson said: “Police were called at 9.30pm on Saturday, 7 August, after a young girl was reported missing from a rural property in the Umberleigh area.

“Officers attended and carried out an area search along with the police helicopter and a dog unit. The child was located safe and well in a field around 10.40pm by the helicopter working with officers on the ground. She was taken to hospital to be checked over as a precaution.”


Steven Morris

The GuardianTramp

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