3-year-old reunited with parents after spending the night alone in Poinsett State Park

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SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) – A 3-year-old is now reunited with her parents after being missing for nearly 20 hours in Poinsett State Park in Wedgefield.

Ruby Heider went missing during a camping trip with family and friends. The FBI, the Air Force, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, the Sumter Police Dept., DNR, and SLED searched through the night and into the next morning to find the little girl.

Ruby was found safe, although frightened, cold, and dehydrated. Ruby went missing around 7 p.m. Friday.

The sheriff says she was found just a mile away from where she went missing around 11 a.m. Saturday.

“We brought in our imaging systems, our aviation unit, our drones. We got the State Law Enforcement Division assistance with our aviation as well,” said Sheriff Anthony Dennis.

Bloodhounds and campers spent Friday night searching the campgrounds.

3-year-old missing from Poinsett State Park found safe
3-year-old missing from Poinsett State Park found safe(Sumter County Sheriff’s Office)

“Every camper in this campground came out,” said Tracey Hagen, a camper. “We came out with flashlights, we started calling her name. We checked in with every camper at the site knocking on doors, asking if they had seen her.”

Rhonda Mason, another camper, tells me she began searching after Ruby’s mother came by their RV calling out Ruby’s name.

Poinsett Park is 1,000 acres. Sheriff Dennis says Ruby wandered off while looking for the bathroom at the campsite.

Sheriff Dennis thanked the community for coming to help look. He says more than 150 volunteers came out and they even had to turn some away.

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