-- Family Didn't Expect to Find Him With Their Daughter After She Was Missing for 2 Days

 What’s more painful than losing your family? A household in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky thought they lost their precious little one after she went missing for 36 hours. It was the most distressing and agonizing hours of their life. They were all over the place and they did not know what to do. They already called their neighbors for help and reported it to the authorities. Everyone was searching for the missing child. Thankfully, after a long day and a sleepless night, she was found!

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But it was not just the family who was shocked after seeing her alive and well, she was not alone! She came back and they could not believe who was with her.

The Precious Little One

Charlee Campbell was just a typical two-year-old baby girl living in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky with her grandmother. Like any other child, she was enjoying her childhood going around the house and running in their backyard. She was not just loved by the whole family, but the whole town.

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It was just like any other ordinary day, Beth Campbell, little Charlee’s grandmother was relaxing in her house as she knew that her granddaughter was happily playing around outside with their dog, Penny. But she panicked when she could not find Charlee. She was nowhere to be found.

Missing

As soon as Beth realized that their precious little one was not around their house, she went to her neighbors to ask if they saw Charlee. Every time, her neighbors shook their heads and said "no," to her painful question, “Have you seen Charlee?” Beth was getting more and more nervous.

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Beth could not help but think of the bad things that might happen to her beloved granddaughter. When the neighborhood learned about the situation, they joined Beth in her search for the young child.

Heartbreaking Hours of Searching

The whole neighborhood was in distress searching for her. As the sun started to set, and the night sky was beginning to appear, there was no clue as to where Charlee was. It seems that the word ‘anxious’ would never be enough to describe what they were feeling at that time.

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The most heartbroken was Charlee’s parents and family. Natalie Quick, her mother, and Lisa Chesher, her great-grandmother, along with Beth were truly heartbroken with the disappearance of their precious little one. And as night came, the family, neighborhood, and local authorities did not stop searching for Charlee or praying for her safety.

Longer Days

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The search continued, and before they knew it they were already two days into the hunt. Charlee’s family worked along with the sheriff’s office to locate her for almost two days, looking for the little girl who, as they believed, had wandered off into the woods nearby.

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Many people became involved, each had exerted a considerable amount of effort and time into the search. In fact, they even “interviewed several family members Thursday and Friday during the search, along with the FBI,” as Scotty McGaha of the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office told INSIDER. Fortunately, the missing girl was not alone after all.

Into the Woods

Though the family was obviously in a catastrophic state, the fact that the little girl was out there in the wilderness was hard to swallow. Only the local authorities went into the woods to search for her because they could not risk putting civilians in the same danger.

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The sheriff, together with the police and the firefighters, went in and out of the woods several times, still not giving up on finding Charlee. But they couldn't help but feel worried when they witnessed and experienced the danger of the wild themselves. The local authorities could not deny that they thought about what may have already happened to the child.

Found

The search crews and FBI agents spent hours Thursday and Friday in the heat and humidity. The terrain was also rocky, dangerous and full of snakes. The police were all equipped and ready to go into the wild and try their luck again when suddenly one of their neighbors reported the news they have been waiting for: Charlee was finally found! However, she was not alone.

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Among all the concerned, the first sigh of relief came from the man who found her first – Wayne Brown. He recalled how he had been sitting on his sofa as he was praying for Charlee’s return. It was then when he saw a blonde-haired girl wandering in his backyard.

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Mr. Brown 

Brown told the story to the police in detail, describing the little girl’s appearance when he saw her. “I seen the dirt all over her, and she had leaves in her hair, and I opened the door, and I said 'Are you Charlee?' And she handed me this bottle. And I said 'Are you Charlee?' She didn't answer me. She wouldn't say anything.” 

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But he was also shocked that she was not the only one who emerged from the woods

Someone Else Was Missing Too

With Charlee’s disappearance, Beth and the whole family did not notice that it was not just the child who went missing. There was someone else who was missing and that they hadn't noticed.

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But when he emerged from the woods with Charlee they couldn't have been more relieved to find out that he was with her. 

Penny the Dog

Penny, her dog, was gone too for 36 hours, and when Charlee was found Penny was found with her, and apparently was with her the whole time. 

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The family could not be more than thankful that Charlee was not alone in the woods when she was lost. However, little did everyone know that Wayne Brown had pain of his own, too.

A Loyal Companion Beside Her

The news of Charlee’s return spread in the neighborhood, and that she was accompanied by their brave pet. The community couldn't help but be amazed with the dog’s loyalty and courage.

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All of them were praying for Charlee’s safety but no one really expected that the precious little angel would be able to find the way home again. With her safe return, everyone was deeply grateful for Penny because she never left her side. She was the hero of the town.

The True Heroes

“Whenever they told me that they had found Charlee, I was just outside of myself. I was just so happy,” Beth emphasized. Still, she put her faith in Penny. “When my dog didn’t come home, and my baby wasn’t home, she was not going to leave that baby until she got here. This is our hero right here.”

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The family could not help but cry in gratefulness for their little girl's guardian angels. From Penny, who never left her side, to Mr. Brown, who prayed for the child and found her first.

Home Sweet Home

For Quick, it’s unbearable to not be able to find your kid, and even more unbearable when 100 people searching can’t find her either. But when little Charlee had finally come home, their happiness was unparalleled as well. “I can’t even explain how happy that I am that this baby is home because I love her more than anything in this world,” granny Campbell exclaimed.

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Some people thought that their reunion was never going to happen. It was actually an emotional one, with Charlee’s grandfather running to greet her with a stuffed animal at the BCSO. Granny Campbell, on the other hand, promised some extra treats for both Charlee and Penny, mainly putting the hero pit bull on a diet of hamburgers. It’s a way of thanking her for staying with Charlee.

Charlee’s Angels

The pain that Charlee’s family went through when she went missing is not something that any family would ever dream of. “She was out there all night last night. I won't stop until she's found. I don't care if the dogs have searched and no scent. I don't care. I'll look until she comes back or something,” her mother Natalie Quick said.

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Thankfully, other people also aided in the search. As Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office wrote in their Facebook post, “We cannot thank enough the firefighters, EMT’s, dispatchers, search teams, other public safety agencies and the volunteer searchers from the community. Bullitt County residents always step up to help each other. #CharleeIsSafe #WeAreBullittCounty”

Charlee Found Her Way Home

After the encounter with her neighbor, Charlee was transported to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. As the sheriff has revealed, she bore “no obvious serious injuries.” Nonetheless, they emphasized that the girl did look dehydrated and had several tick bites on her skin.

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Charlee was immediately bought to the hospital for evaluation, being wheeled inside on a stretcher and clutching a stuffed animal close to her chest. The little girl showed no signs of any emotion, but she was silent all the way from her first appearance on her neighbor’s porch. Little Charlee may have found her way home, but the people involved still has a mystery to solve.

Uncovering Another Painful Story

Questions still linger despite Charlee’s return. From her disappearance up to her comeback, the circumstances are indeed full of mystery. Nonetheless, Brown maneuvered the tragedy on Friday as he offered water to the lost girl and called 911. It might have ended the search, but it hit close to home for him in yet another heartbreaking reason.

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Brown had just spent three hours searching for Charlee on Thursday. And then on Friday evening, he discovered Charlee right outside his house. “I'm convinced that God led her to our porch,” Brown spoke of his encounter with Charlee.

Fate

“They’ve been everywhere. They’ve been all over this place, and how did they not find this child, and she just shows up where the search has been. How does that happen,” Brown can’t help but ask. His own brother went missing at age three, but unlike Charlee, the little boy didn’t return home. Unfortunately, he was later found drowned in a creek.

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“My little brother went missing. He’d wandered away from the home and he had climbed three fences. They found him miles away from the house. It was actually my uncle that found him, and he was dead,” Mr. Brown recalled. Apparently, his fate with Charlee is somewhat ironic.

Hard Times

While the family was in deep pain, the people around them also shared their grief. Even Sheriff Tinnell had his fair share of sympathy. "It was emotional for me. We didn't give up hope, but hope was going down for me,” the good-willed officer shared.

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On Friday afternoon, Charlee’s mother expressed how having to deal with this is one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do. Bullitt County Sherriff, however, doesn’t think that little Charlee was missing in the woods alone for 32 hours. On the other hand, Charlee’s great-grandmother tells that there’s another side to the story.

Family Problem

“It has been the most horrific thing my whole family has ever been through. This whole scenario of them taking her and hiding her, and then the FBI shows up, and then they drop her off in the woods ... that's ridiculous,” Lisa Chesher, Charlee’s great grandmother, shared.

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The whole family was happy they found their baby alive and well. As if what they just went through wasn’t enough yet, they were given another nightmare to survive. “To see how my daughter and granddaughter are being painted by Sheriff Tinnell is not fair,” Chesher added. Yet again, they are faced with a new conflict.

Digging For More

While Charlee’s return is a huge triumph, there are still people who just can’t quite let the mysteries go. The Bullitt County Sheriff’s office went out to search for more answers on Saturday. Sheriff Donnie Tinnell showed up at Brown’s Roy Layne Road property to do a foot search, down the hill to Charlee’s house.

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In hopes of finding tracks or scents by using dogs, the BCSO kept on digging for more. Merely seeing the lost girl was not enough for them, especially with their very own experiences on the terrain where she was believed to have been.

Unfavorable Circumstances

Come Saturday morning, Charlee’s family revealed that their little girl was still in the hospital. Thankfully, the toddler was doing okay. Even Sherriff Tinnell expressed feelings of gratitude. “I'm just so happy she's safe and alive. We're blessed she's healthy.”

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She was treated well in the hospital, but Charlee’s overall form was not that good. When the little girl arrived at the hospital, she was still wearing the Disney pajama top which was what her grandmother reported her missing in. However, she wasn’t wearing any pants or a diaper. This only sparked more intrigue for suspecting minds.

Pointing Out Suspects

Though he says he doesn’t want to speculate, Sherriff Donnie Tinnell thinks that someone is definitely responsible for Charlie’s disappearance, and that person is close to her. Apparently, the fact that the toddler lived with her grandparents seemed sketchy to him.

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"The little girl had scratches on her feet, dirty feet, and ticks on her. She was in those woods for some period of time. It didn't indicate to me she was in there for 36 hours. My suspicion is there's a custody issue between mother and grandmother. I suspect maybe there's something going on that we don't know about yet," the sheriff revealed.

Denying Accusations

The other end of the dispute also expressed their side. “There's not a custody battle. My granddaughter goes there every day with her baby and takes care of her,” great grandmother Chesher spoke of Charlee and her mother.

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As the police officer came up with a hypothesis, Chesher also came up with a theory of her own regarding what really happened to Charlee. “She opened the door. She had just learned how to do the deadbolt the day before,” as Chesher put it simply. Although that presumption is not entirely impossible, there is still an important detail left from the whole picture.

Undisclosed Battle

Even before Charlee’s disappearance, her grandmother was battling a struggle of her own. Beth Campbell, Charlee’s grandmother, and Chesher’s daughter are battling addiction. She even admitted to a recent relapse. This detail might be a vital factor for the sheriff’s accusations.

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Amidst all the trouble, Beth told Sherriff Tinnell that she was on the meth. “She didn't have to do that, but she did,” Chesher said. Instead of the focus being on Charlee’s disappearance, the random confession started unwarranted trouble. Nonetheless, their angel is home now but with layers of mystery surrounding her still.

Unbelievable Survival

Charlee was found at a neighbor’s house shortly after Penny arrived home, according to law enforcement officials. The house in question is several hundred yards up a wooded hill from her grandmother’s home. No matter how much they looked, though, the police officers knew something didn't add up.

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“I can't believe she survived it. There's coyotes in them hills. There are copperheads and rattlesnakes and ticks, all the elements. And somehow she came out in pretty good shape,” Bullitt County Sherriff Donnie Tinnell disclosed. Charlee’s disappearance is sketchy enough, but her survival despite deadly risks created more questions than there were before.

Knocking on the Neighbor’s Door

The amazing survival story of little Charlee is far from over. In fact, it “continued tonight when she walked up on a porch on Roy Layne Road this evening,” Bullitt County Sherriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

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“The homeowners realized who she was and contacted authorities. She has no obvious serious injuries but did appear dehydrated and had some tick bites,” the Facebook post also stated. Having Charlee back is excellent news not only for her family but to the people who have followed the news with them as well. Yet again, there is still more to her story.

Someone’s Guilty

After wishing for Charlee’s safe return, there’s a new concern that the people around the little girl are hoping for – for Charlee to make a full recovery as soon as possible. Chesher, especially, can’t stop thanking God that her great-granddaughter is safe. She emphasized that Charlee has a normal life and that she has people that adore her.

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“But my daughter definitely needs to get herself together and take care of herself,” Chesher added. This might be a factor in the Sheriff’s plans for pursuing negligence charges in the case. In the meantime, Charlee is in custody of Child Protective Services.

The Main Point

Sheriff Tinnell was firm in his belief that the girl’s disappearance is somewhat related to a custody dispute. It was still unclear where Charlee was while she was missing and whether she was outside in the woods the whole time. The Sherriff declared that the criminal investigation would continue, and that Child Protective Services will also be involved.

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No criminal charges have been filed so far. Nonetheless, Charlee’s family is relieved that their little girl has returned to them with the help of their new hero, Penny. That alone is important for them after facing the possibility of them not being able to see their baby anymore.

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