2 girls lost in Ontario woods overnight found safe

Two girls who were missing in the woods near Calabogie were found safe and sound on Tuesday. Doug...

Two girls who were missing in the woods near Calabogie were found safe and sound on Tuesday. Doug Hempstead/Ottawa Sun

Doug Hempstead, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:11 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Two Ottawa girls were found safe and sound by the OPP Tuesday after spending 15 hours in the in the dense, mosquito-filled woods during an overnight thunderstorm.

Ember Greatrix, 11, and Elya Munro, 9, were playing a game called manhunt -- similar to hide-and-seek -- with their other cousins around 8 p.m. Monday.

"They were determined to win," said Phil Ripley, 73, Greatrix's grandad.

The pair got separated and by 10 p.m., the family called police.

When the little girls were found, they told their rescuers they curled up under a tree and slept in their fleece pyjamas.

Phil's wife Helene struggled to find enough words to convey her gratitude for the more than 30 OPP officers, paramedics and others involved with the search of land, skies and waterways using ATVs and dogs, a helicopter and OPP's marine unit.

"It was a horrendous night," she said, reaching our to put her hand on Phil's shoulder. "But the community -- the people who came and stayed with us all night -- and the OPP and the men, were absolutely wonderful.

"They stayed most of the night with us. And the OPP -- the vehicles. I will never begrudge paying taxes again. If you could see the type of response we got, you heart would just warm up."

They were found nearly two km away from where the family had set up camp along the shore of scenic Airds Lake. It was OPP officers who found the girls by calling to them and hearing them call back.

Renfrew County paramedic chief Michael Nolan ferried the kids out in the front seat of an all-terrain vehicle, wrapped in a shiny, silver blanket with helmets on their bobbing heads and they bounced down the rocky trail past the throng of reporters.

Nolan said the girls' only injuries were a few scratches and slight dehydration.


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