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

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.
Emil Whitis
Aug 31, 2012


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.   



Hats off to all the emergency responders.  Great work!!


i thought lippert was retired..oh yeah double dipper


Really? That's what you got out of this story? I'm glad she's safe. Great job.

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I remember the night the Daneker girl was missing...long and horrifying hours!  Great community work by all!  So happy this girl was found safe and sound as well!


 Thank god she was found safe.


I am glad she was found quickly.  Where were the parents?  I would think, if a family lives near a corn field, that they would teach their children not to go in there.  Safety first.  There could be snakes, brown recluse spiders and who knows what else in there.  Just saying.

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Transplant, trust me, if you live near a cornfield you do teach your children this....but to a 4 year old it's tempting or they see a kitty cat in the corn! All it takes for a 4 year old is about 7 or 8 steps in before their sense of direction is lost because of the height of the corn.  7 or 8 steps is what...10 or 15 seconds?  I'm sure it had nothing to do with parents not watching....more like turning around for 20 seconds to wrap the garden hose up or something silly.


that was a quick rescue.  Glad she is safe.

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Sandusky Regist...

I'm sorry she got lost -- but gee wizz how convenient for this little girl to be lost at this particular time when $300K worht of marijuana just got burned becaise it was "found" in another field........Perhaps they were looking for some in this field too?  Why am I so skeptical today....???!!!


 It's amazing how quickly little ones run towards danger when you turn your head for a second. You can tell them repeatedly and when you turn your head thats the first thing they go for. It's curiosity. We can't always blame the parents like it was neglect. It really only takes a second. Im happy she was found