MARIN (CBS) — After spending more than 20 hours wandering alone in Marin County’s dense redwood forest, 9-year-old Ida Rothschild was reunited with her family.
It was a long night in Marin County’s Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Unbeknownst to the little girl, hundreds of volunteers frantically searched for her.
Little Ida Rothschild disappeared Friday afternoon. She was found about two-and-a-half miles from her campsite.
Ida’s family is from New Mexico and was on vacation. Her mom is from Marin County.
A photo shows Ida Rothschild with her mother, soon after the little girl was found safe.
Lt. Doug Pittman was there when mom and daughter were reunited.
“I don’t remember exactly what it was that her mom said, but [it was] something to the effect of, ‘Ida, where have you been?’ said Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman. “And made me smiled when Ida said back, ‘mom, I’m fine!’”
The search began Friday.
Ida’s parents last saw her shortly after noon that day.
Throughout the night, rescuers continued scouring the thick redwood forest, worried that Ida was not okay.
More than 200 people, many volunteers, joined the search.
“This is the largest search effort I have ever been a part of,” Lt. Pittman told KPIX 5.
In the end, two cyclists who live just a few miles from the state park found Ida Saturday morning, shortly before 9 a.m.
“They intentionally chose to come and ride out here with slight hope they might find Ida, and to all of our benefit they did,” said Lt. Pittman.
The Rothschilds spent the afternoon recovering at a home inside the park. It had been a very long night.
Ida’s mom did not want to talk with KPIX 5 on camera but rescuers said the family is grateful for the successful search and rescue effort.
Pittman–“Rightfully so, their attention is on Ida” said Lt. Pittman. “But they did take a moment to thank all the searchers involved here today.”
Pittman said he doesn’t know exactly what caused Ida to wander away. He believes something in the woods caught Ida’s eye, and she wandered off and did not know how to get back to camp.
“Fortunately, Ida kept walking all night, which kept her warm in this chilly mountain air,” said Lt. Pittman.