PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. – It takes a village to raise a child. In Paulding County it took a community to find a child. Authorities say a 13-year-old girl who hadn't been seen since Tuesday night was found on Wednesday afternoon.
According the Paulding County Sheriff's Office, Mayci Olschewske was last seen by her parents when she went to be Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. When her parents woke up Wednesday morning, she was gone from her home on Amber Trace in Dallas, Ga.
Authorities said they received three calls Wednesday afternoon from witnesses who said they had seen the girl walking near Benson road, the latest at about 11:30AM.
She was located walking along a creek off Benson Lake Road on Wednesday afternoon, 11Alive's Kevin Rowson reports.
In a matter of moments, tears of desparation turned to tears of joy. Five minutes before she was found, one of many volunteers who gathered at North Paulding Baptist Church was losing hope. "We want to find her for her momma before it gets dark," said Gail Stegall. "This is heartbreaking."
Moments later by the creek where Mayci was found Stegall said in tears, "Our prayers are answered, we have an Almighty God."
Mayci sat in the front seat of Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge's SUV when her mother approached the vehicle in tears. The two embraced for several minutes.
Hundreds of volunteers from the Burnt Hickory Community joined the search with Paulding County Deputies who used a tracking dog from the Cobb County Sheriff Office.
At about 6PM a volunteer walked along a creek bed that crossed Benson Lake Road and found Mayci against a tree. He didn't approach her because he was afraid she might run, said Cpl. Ashley Henson. "She was laying with the blanket that she was seen with earlier in the day and was asleep laying on the bank of the creek," he said.
Bad storms moved through Paulding County Wednesday afternoon. Mayci apparently rode those storms out in the wooded area near the creek, with her blanket.