Missing NM girl, 9, found safe in California park

Ida Rothschild
Ida Rothschild was found safe Saturday. Photo Courtesy Marin County Sheriff's Department.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) -A Santa Fe girl is safe after spending the night in woods by herself with no food or rest. The nine-year-old was spending time with her family at a state park north of San Francisco when she wandered a mile and a half away from her campground.

More than 200 people joined the search to find little Ida Rothschild. She and her family were vacationing in Samuel P. Taylor State Park, near where her mother is from, when Ida went missing. Luckily, a pair of cyclists were in the right place at the right time.

“Thank you to everyone who looked for me and how much devoted,” Ida Rothschild said, shortly after being reunited with her family.

For a young girl left alone in the wilderness for nearly 24 hours, Marin County officials say she was in good spirits.

“When the mom and the dad and the two siblings walked in to reunite with them, the mom made some comment about, ‘Ida, where have you been,’ something along those lines and, actually, it did make me smile when I heard Ida respond back, ‘Mom, I am fine,’ explains Marin County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Douglas Pittman.

Nine-year-old Ida Rothschild went missing just after noon, Friday. She and her parents live in Santa Fe and were visiting the Samuel P. Taylor State Park, just north of San Francisco, when Ida wandered away from her family’s campsite.

After at least an hour of searching, the Rothschild’s called for help.

Search and rescue teams immediately began scouring the densely wooded forest, working through the night. Yet, officials say, Ida didn’t sleep either, and with temperatures dipping into the low ’40’s they say, that worked in her favor.

“I think the fact that she kept moving all night long kept her both in good spirits and kept her body temperature up and increased her survivability,” explains Pittman.

Finally, at around nine o’clock Saturday morning, two cyclists found the little girl walking along a trail, calling for her mother. They called 911 on a cell phone, gave the girl some water and waited half an hour for Marin County officials to arrive.

“A citizen who doesn’t live too far from here intentionally went on a bicycle ride with the hopes that maybe they might run across Ida this morning and, in fact, they did,” Pittman says.

The Forest Service made cabins available for the family, Saturday night, so they can recover.

Marin County officials’ biggest concern was that Ida could have fallen into a fast moving creek. Searchers even walked and swam the creek to look for her. When cyclists found Rothschild, she was only two and a half miles from the command post searchers had set up in the state park.

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