Mother, children found safe after being lost in woods for 12 hou - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Mother, children found safe after being lost in woods for 12 hours

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State police are using K9 units and other services to find a missing mother and children in the Naugatuck State Forest in Oxford. (WFSB) State police are using K9 units and other services to find a missing mother and children in the Naugatuck State Forest in Oxford. (WFSB)
State police are searching for a missing mother and her two children in Naugatuck State Forest (WFSB). State police are searching for a missing mother and her two children in Naugatuck State Forest (WFSB).
OXFORD, CT (WFSB) -

State police located a mother and her two children who went missing in the woods Tuesday night.

Troopers said they made their way out of the Naugatuck State Forest Wednesday morning, and are at home after spending 12 hours in the woods.

"They were able to flag down a passerby," said Sgt. Tate Begley, Connecticut State police. "Police made contact with them. Made a medical evaluation."

The family, of Oxford, was found near Chestnut Tree Road.

Begley said the three of them are in good condition.

"They've got some minor cuts and abrasions, but overall they're in good condition for spending a night in the woods," he said.

Begley said they were able to hunker down during Tuesday night's storms.

"The kids were able to sleep and mom stayed with them," he said. "When it got light out again, they continued."

They were able to hear search teams yelling, but with heavy leaf cover, troopers said the sound didn't carry very far.

"At one point, she could hear them but they couldn't hear her," Begley said.

According to troopers, the woman, the 8-year-old girl, and the 4-year-old boy were missing, along with their dog. 

A Toyota Sienna minivan that was found parked in the area was at one point a focus of the search.

The woman's husband reported that the three went for a walk in the forest during the evening hours on Tuesday and never returned. State police said the husband returned home from work around 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday and notified police.

Cell phones associated with the mother had been going to voicemail.

The Oxford fire chief told Eyewitness News that the search was launched at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Troopers used all terrain vehicles and K9 teams on marked trails.

The scope of the search remained unclear.

"Your mind starts to go a lot of other directions that you pull different law enforcement entities in to make sure you have a jump start on the situation," Begley said.

People who hike in the area said it's easy to get mixed up in the forest.

"It's very scary, but its easy to do because of the trails here, they're all inter-connected, up along the reservoir, and especially if someone went out later in the afternoon," said Lori Sawicki, of Beacon Falls.

The identities of the mother and children have not been released.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says hikers need to be prepared, and they offered a list of suggestions: 

  • Plan your route, but also let someone know where and when you are going.
  • Have a cell phone, and make sure it is charged
  • Be aware of the time and when the sun sets
  • Bring a flashlight
  • Bring a whistle

For more tips, click here.

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