Deputy pulls lost girl from creek

Dec. 24, 2013 @ 04:02 PM

A Durham County sheriff’s deputy rescued a lost, 7-year-old girl from a creek after she wandered away from her home in Bahama.

Sgt. David LaBarre and a team of other deputies responded Saturday afternoon to a wooded area near Lake Michie in northern Durham after getting a report of a missing girl with a mental disability.

LaBarre, along with Lt. Mike Williams, Cpl. Allen Wright and Deputy Jeffrey Middleton, split up and searched the area after seeing what appeared to be handprints and claw marks on the bank of a pond.

“That was really upsetting to be the first thing you see,” LaBarre said Tuesday.

LaBarre figured the girl was walking through the woods or along a nearby creek bed. The team was about to call in a helicopter and canine to expand the search when LaBarre spotted the girl in waist-high water in a creek.

He said she’d apparently fallen in.

“She was standing in the water, with no shoes, and still wearing a helmet from riding a four-wheeler,” LaBarre said. “She was shaking her hands and asking for help.”

LaBarre carried the girl on his back to his patrol car. She was soaked and covered in sand, but apparently unhurt.

“She said: ‘Let’s just get out of here,’ ” LaBarre recalled.

They met up in the woods with the child’s father, who had been searching for more than an hour, and the family returned home.