Family relieved after missing girls found near cornfield

Destiny Lingar, 4, went missing in a massive Waterloo cornfield with her cousin. Rescue crews found the girls safe by a creek.

WATERLOO, Ind. (WANE) – It was the scare of a lifetime for a Waterloo family Thursday afternoon.  A couple four-year-old cousins went missing in a massive cornfield a little before 1:00 p.m.  A couple hours later, a massive search team found and rescued them.

Trisha Burritt’s daughter, Destiny, was one of the two who went missing.  Burritt said Destiny’s grandfather was watching her and her cousin Hayley Mae at a home off U.S. 6, just east of the Waterloo city limits.  The girls were playing in a grassy area, when the grandfather said he briefly went into the garage.  When he came out, he said the girls had disappeared into a nearby cornfield.

When Burritt got the call that her daughter was missing, she worried the worst had happened.

“The first thing that went through my mind is ‘Somebody picked her up and she’s gone,'” Burritt said.  “My heart just fell right out of my chest.”

Dozens of police, fire and EMS crews quickly responded and set up a perimeter around the cornfield.  A Parkview Samaritan helicopter even flew overhead looking for the girls.

A DeKalb County dispatcher said a Waterloo firefighter eventually found the girls after nearly a couple hours of searching.

Burritt said her daughter and niece made it to a creek and were hiding because they were scared of the helicopter.  The mother said when she saw the two girls, the feeling of relief was indescribable.

“The cop was calling us over saying ‘We found ’em. We found ’em,'” Burritt said.  “Tears filled my eyes and I ran to the cop. And sure enough here comes the other one holding both in his arms and it was just — it’s a miracle.”

NewsChannel 15 asked the girls what they were doing out in the cornfield.  It appears they were just curious and exploring.

The scare has now become a lesson learned for the cousins. The family is thankful for the teamwork between emergency crews.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Butler PD, Auburn PD, Waterloo Fire Department, Auburn Fire Department, Parkview Samaritan helicopter, and DeKalb County EMS all responded to the incident.

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