May 25, 2018
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Missing 5-year-old St. Albans girl found unharmed

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

ST. ALBANS, Maine — A 5-year-old girl who went missing from her home on Monday morning was found a few hours later by Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service.

Morgan Lawler was playing outside with a family puppy at her home on Bubar Road and was reported missing at about 9:30 a.m. Monday.

“Mom went inside to do something with the laundry and, 15 minutes later, she went to check on her daughter and she was gone,” said Trooper Sgt. Jeff Beech.

Beech said several warden units, two warden aircraft and state police with a K-9 unit responded.

Beech said the 5-year-old traveled quite far through thick woods.

“It was a pretty good distance from the house,” said Beech, who estimated she traveled about 2½ miles in all. She was located about six-tenths of a mile south of the house in the woods.

“Maybe a little more,” he said, adding that Lawler walked through marshy areas, snow and soft ice.

“She went through it all,” he said. “Occasionally we’d pick up a footprint in the snow, but lose it again because there wasn’t much snow. She never stopped moving.”

She was picked up around 1 p.m.

“It ended very well. She had no injuries,” Beech said. “She had some red feet, mostly from walking through snow, water and ice. Her feet were wet and definitely cold.”

Beech said the girl was upset when they found her, but calmed down quickly.

“She was happy to be home,” he said.

Lawler was checked by Sebasticook Valley Ambulance, said Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service in a statement.

Beech said many family members were at the residence awaiting Lawler’s return. The family dog returned to the home on its own, MacDonald said.

Wardens Jared Herrick and Kim Bates along with Troopers Matt Casavant, Sam Tulmac and Beech recovered Lawler.

“We’re just glad we got her,” Beech said.

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