SAULT STE. MARIE — A 13-year-old child with special needs went missing Tuesday night but was found Wednesday morning.


The 13 year-old girl of Sault Ste. Marie was last seen at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28 near the Washington School-Project Playground area. The child has down syndrome and is nonverbal.


It was believed that she might be in an enclosed space, such as an open vehicle or garage. As a result, residents were asked to check buildings, sheds and vehicles on their property.


According to the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, hundreds of volunteers from law enforcement, fire departments, city employees also assisted in the search. These volunteers were mandated to report to the Lake Superior State University Norris Center, which became a command post. However, volunteers were still strongly urged to practice social distancing while searching.


The Sault Ste. Marie Police Department lead the investigation and worked with several other law enforcement agencies around the county. A K-9 unit was also utilized at the time.


Chippewa County Central Dispatch posted on their Facebook page shortly after 10:30 a.m. that the child had been found.


"Chippewa County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue also responded to help track the search areas," said the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department. "The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office drone was used along with off-road vehicles. Areas of woods, snowmobile trails, fields, city blocks, abandon buildings and more were searched. All of these volunteers searched diligently in the rain. A short time ago Central Dispatch received a call that a person matching the description had been found some distance from the last known location. The girl was found safe. The Sault Ste. Marie Police Department and Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all the agencies that responded. I won't try and name them all as I am sure I would forget someone. It did include city, township, county, state and federal agencies."