Abby Ladwig

Abigail Ladwig

(Story updated Tuesday, Aug. 11)

A 3-year-old girl from the Winter area, Abigail Ladwig, went missing from her home Sunday evening, Aug. 9, but was found alive and well about 24 hours later following a massive search involving multiple agencies and volunteers, according to the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Doug Mrotek said Abigail was located at approximately 7:20 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10. She walked out of the woods into a neighboring yard a short distance from her residence. She sustained minor scratches, insect bites and dehydration during her nearly 24 hours of being lost in the woods. She was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment and released.

The sheriff gave a special thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and other agencies involved in the search for the girl.

Abigail was reported missing by her mother around 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, from her home on Old Hwy. 70 southwest of Winter. She was last seen following the family dog, a tan and brown cocker spaniel named Peanut. She was barefoot.

On Sunday night, Sawyer County Search and Rescue personnel were out almost all night searching

Hundreds of citizens also turned out to volunteer. In groups they tromped the woods under the direction of the Department of Natural Resources. People brought food, water and sports drinks for the searchers. 

Pat Sanchez, coordinator of Sawyer County Search and Rescue, said, “Thank you to all responders, volunteers who came out to search for Abby and the donations of food and water. It’s amazing how in times of need, we all come together for such an amazing outcome.”

Mrotek thanked all of the volunteers and agencies involved in the search, including

Sawyer County Search and Rescue, St. Louis County Search and Rescue, Wisconsin Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Border Patrol, the Price, Rusk and Washburn county sheriff’s offices, the Wisconsin, Sawyer County and Washburn County emergency management departments, Canine Emergency Response Team (K-9), Canine SOS, the Exeland, Winter and Round Lake fire departments, Canine Search Midwest, Central Lakes Search, Newbold Fire and Rescue and the Chippewa Fire District.

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