Missing 3-year-old, dog found in cornfield after search in southeast MO

Officials believe the dog stayed with the missing girl all night (Source: viewer photo)
Officials believe the dog stayed with the missing girl all night (Source: viewer photo)

QULIN, MO (KFVS) - A mother from Butler County, Missouri is thrilled her daughter is safe after she went missing near their home in Qulin, Mo. around 8 p.m. Thursday night.

It took police and volunteers almost 12 hours to find three-year-old Remy Elliott and her pet Yorkshire Terrier, Fat Heath, in the rows of a cornfield Friday morning.

"I feel a lot better, especially since we know she is okay. She is back to her normal self now," said Timber Merritt, Remy's mom.

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The mother of three says the entire experience of searching for her lost daughter was stressful from the very beginning.

"I looked for her by myself thinking maybe she was just in the woods or somewhere where I just couldn't see her," Merritt said. "And I was calling for her and calling for her, and when she wasn't calling back I realized I don't think I'm going to find her on my own."

That is when Merritt started calling friends, family, and local law enforcement to form a search party, which grew beyond the family's expectations.

"It went from five people to about 75 to 100 people out here by the time we were done," Merritt said.

A search and rescue team, volunteers from nearby communities, even a few helicopters spread out over a cornfield surrounding the house to actively search the area.

John Copp, a family friend, was one of the first people to start helping Thursday night.

"It was stressful and emotional," he said. "We were all just walking back and forth from one end to the other just yelling her name. All the flashlights started dying and the sheriff's office decided to call if for the night."

As morning broke the search continued around 6 a.m. and other volunteers like Makayla Hardcastle joined the group to walk the rows of corn.

"The corn feels like razor blades cutting you, especially for a child," Hardcastle said. "And you don't hear well in the corn either, so when somebody is yelling your name you can hear them but you don't know where it is coming from."

Merritt's brother, Quinlin, drove all the way from western Kentucky to help, and was the one who found Remy and her dog about half a mile away from the house lying down on some broken corn stalks.

"They said that she was asleep when he picked her up," Ms. Merritt said. "She was definitely exhausted, hot, really sweaty and it took a while to drink anything. She said she wasn't scared because Fat Heath was there. If he wasn't I think she would've been terrified."

After being checked out at the Black River Medical Center in Poplar Bluff visit the young girl is back to her normal self, and has some itch cream to treat her mosquito bites.

"I've never seen that many mosquito bites. We are going to give her a bath and keep putting medicine on it."

Merritt has a few plans for how to prevent any of their children from getting lost in the cornfield off County Road 243 again.

"Hopefully put a fence around the yard, or keep her inside," the mom said with a laugh.

Parrott said officials believe she wandered off on Thursday night when she went missing around 8 p.m.

About 50 people and two helicopters were searching in the field on County Rd. 243.

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