On October 20, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Emergency Dispatch Center in the Fall Branch district was informed by Sullivan County emergency officials that a two-year-old child had walked away from a residence and was missing. After ground teams searched the area for several hours and were unable to locate the missing child, a THP aviation team was requested to respond and conduct an aerial search.

THP aviation pilot, Lieutenant Brad Lund and Special Operations Captain Steven Lowery, searched for approximately 30 minutes before they spotted the missing child curled up in tall grass using the helicopter’s Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) technology. The aircrew immediately notified ground crews and led them across the road and 300 yards from the residence to the missing child.

The missing child’s family stated, “Without the use of the THP helicopter, our child would not have been located as quickly. We appreciate THP and the valuable assets they bring to the table.”

“I’m so thankful our aviation team responded to Sullivan County and was successful in locating the child,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Dereck R. Stewart. “The technology on the helicopter allowed our team to direct emergency personnel to her, creating a happy outcome for this young girl’s family.”