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Tracking technology helps find missing child in Wood County

WAOW Television

Officials in Wood County say a special piece of technology brought a 12-year-old girl to safety Wednesday.

An alert was sent around 4:30 that afternoon that a "Project Lifesaver" child had gone missing at Wildwood Park.

That child was found more than a mile away from where the call was placed, doing so by using the tracking technology used in the program.

It's used in situations where someone with a higher risk of wandering off can be located quickly.

"Anybody with cognitive disorders or disabilities, including autism, down syndrome, Alzheimer's, different forms of dementia," said Sara McCormick of the Wood County Sheriff's Department.

"What this system did was allow us to actually broaden our search quicker and she was found in an area that if we were searching in traditional means, would have taken us a lot longer to get there," Marshfield Police Chief Jody Geurink added.

The technology has existed in Wood County for 15 years, and when someone in that program goes missing, everyone in the county knows.

"It is a county-wide callout to our rescuers, and a lot of people come to find this particular client," McCormick said.

That type of response and the manner in which it's done saves time and money.

"I was looking and I couldn't travel more than a block without seeing a squad car, a fire truck," Geurink said.

The girl was found safe just over an hour after the alert was sent out.

If you know someone that would benefit from signing up for Project Lifesaver, contact your local Sheriff's department and see if they have it available.

McCormick says if your county does not have it, pressure them to get it.

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