BARTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - The Newaygo County 2-year-old who was found Wednesday after being missing for about 24 hours made a nearly two-mile trek through the woods in the dark and cold.
Amber Rose Smith wandered off from her home on 13 Mile Road in Barton Township -- northeast of Big Rapids -- around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Detective say she walked across the street and then through a stretch of Manistee National Forest. She was found about 1.75 miles away around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Authorities don't think the situation is suspicious, though they continue to investigate to confirm that no crime was committed and that the toddler wasn't left in the woods near where she was found.
The path Amber is believed to have taken isn't an easy walk.
It's hilly and heavily wooded enough to wind even an adult. There are no landmarks, making it easy to get lost. When night fell, the rural area was pitch black, without the benefit of streetlights or illumination from nearby houses. Temperatures dipped to around 43 degrees overnight.
Amber, who weighs about 25 pounds, make the trek without a flashlight and clothed in nothing but a long shirt -- no diaper, no pants and no shoes.
==Watch above: Heather Walker shows you how difficult of a walk that is.==
But Amber appears to have sustained only a few scrapes and bruises. The results of a medical examination at a Big Rapids hospital aren't expected to be back for about a month.
"It's really quite miraculous that she's doing so well," Spectrum Health Big Rapids Nursing Director Netty Cove said. "It was a cold last night and it's really very hard in a little one of that age."
The Department of Natural Resources says the area near where Amber was found was searched Tuesday, but no one spotted the little girl. They suspect daylight Wednesday aided in locating her.
Amber is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday.
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