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Deputy finds 4-year-old girl lost in 92-acre cornfield

Emil Whitis • Aug 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Emergency crews from Erie County and Huron descended on River Road Wednesday afternoon to hunt for a 4-year-old girl lost in massive cornfield.   

A medical helicopter was also called to assist in the search for Paige Williams, who was finally plucked from the stalks shortly after 5 p.m.   

The cornfield is in the 600 block of River Road.

Paige ran into the 92-acre cornfield near her home shortly before 5 p.m. 

Her parents, who spotted her just as she disappeared, searched without luck for about 15 minutes before calling Huron police.

Officers rushed to the scene and quickly issued a call for more manpower.

“We called in everybody we had, even off-duty and auxiliary officers,” Huron police Chief Bob Lippert said. “Everyone was out here.”  

Erie County deputies and Huron firefighters showed up, too.

As a medical helicopter neared the scene at about 5:30 p.m., Erie County Deputy Johann Matute — who’d been on his way home when he got the call — searched along the north edge of the cornfield, calling the girl’s name.

“Something told me, ‘just keep going east,’” Matute said. “I called out ‘Paige,’ and then I heard a faint cry, so I kept calling to her.”

“I just started stomping corn.”

About 30 yards from the edge of the field, Matute spotted the little girl hunkered down under the towering stalks.

Just as the helicopter was touching down, Matute grabbed her up and carried her to safety.

“Hats off to Deputy Matute,” Lippert said. “We couldn’t do things like this without each other.”

It’s not unheard of for youngsters to get lost in cornfields at this time of year.

About two years ago, 4-year-old Emily Daneker got lost in a 200-acre cornfield near her Milan Township home. Hundreds of people assisted in that search, finding Emily about five hours after she went missing.   

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