A state trooper battling the darkness finds a missing 2-year-old boy who clings to him and won’t let go


When a two-year-old girl went missing in South Bristol, New York, officers knew they had a huge amount of time to find her.

Missing children during the day is one thing, but when night falls and the temperature drops, it becomes even more dangerous.

A New York State trooper named Brian Hotchkiss was the man leading the search team, and he was well aware of how serious the situation was.

“These missing children, things can turn really bad. It depends on the time of year, so even though the day was fine, the temperature was dropping,” said Brian.

A state trooper battling the darkness finds a missing 2-year-old boy who clings to him and won't let go

He and the search party spent some time knocking on doors all over the neighborhood, but no one seemed to know about the little girl’s whereabouts.

At nightfall, Brian decided to start climbing the mountain, which was half an hour away from the girl’s house. It took half an hour to get to the top of the mountain, by which time Brian was ’exhausted’. All he could see at first was the green and brown of the trees.

But then he noticed a pink dot in the distance.

A pink speck sat motionless on a rock next to the stream. Brian’s heart sank as he started running up. He hoped the child was alive.

“I went along the stream and found the baby, she was lying on her stomach on a rock, and I ran up as fast as I could, and I saw her hand moving, and I realized that she was alive, and my heart just dropped. I was so excited that I ran over and she immediately hugged me, she wouldn’t let go,” he said.

It was clear that the little girl was relieved to be found. She clung to Brian as if her life depended on it-which in a way she did!

Perhaps everything would have been completely different if Brian had not decided to go with his search party to the mountains.


The girl was shaking when Brian got to her, so another soldier wrapped her in his uniform to keep her warm.

She was then taken away by ambulance to check if she was all right. Fortunately, the hospital allowed her, and she was able to return home again.

Brian was left to reflect on the dramatic events of that day.
“I still can’t get it out of my head, she turns around, looks at me and throws her hands in the air. I will never forget it,” he said.

The story of the little girl’s rescue was published in news outlets across the US, and people took to the comments section on YouTube to praise Brian’s quick wit.

One person said, “Thank you very much for your service, sir, and be careful out there. We can’t afford to lose you.”

Another added: “Touching situation…. Good job, soldier!”

Brian is certainly a credit to the New York State Police. Watch his interview for yourself below!
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