Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby disappears, found safe under floorboards

The 1-year-old was found under floorboards in a Woodburn home Monday morning.

WOODBURN, Ore. - The search for a 1-year-old girl who went missing from a Woodburn home in the middle of the night ended Monday morning after police found the child stuck underneath the floor.

Woodburn police said the child, Kate Higgins, was sleeping with her father, Lawrence Higgins Jr., and her older brother and sister in a bedroom at her grandparents' home at 1376 Sallal Road when her father awoke about 5 a.m. to discover her missing.

Though he initially assumed the child was with the grandparents, they had not seen the baby, and the family searched for about an hour before calling 911, police said.

Officers and the family searched both outside and inside the home without finding anything. Then, about 7:30 a.m., officers heard the child coughing in the bedroom and determined she was underneath the floor, police said.

They couldn't find an opening and ended up tearing up the floor only to find the child out of reach and at the other end of the room, police said. Despite trying to talk her out, the girl would not come to them. So they ended up using crowbars to tear up more of the floor until they reached her, police said.

Other than being dirty, police said, the child was OK. They still took her to the hospital to be checked out.

Police believe the child may have fallen off the bed and became wedged in a small opening in the floor. She wiggled through and then could not get out.

The incident alerted state Department of Human Services officials, who determined conditions at both the grandparents' and parents' homes were dirty and unsafe, leading them to take custody of the three children.

The child's grandmother, Penny Higgins, said a hearing is scheduled for Thursday. She said the kids are well-loved and cared for.

Baby disappears, found safe under floorboards KATU.com - Portland, Oregon News

No comments: