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Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours

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Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours

Post  Guest on Wed 11 Aug - 23:15

Finding son “like winning the lottery” — Dad

Fri Jul 30 2010

Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours



BRADFORD-WEST GWILLIMBURY—The sun was just starting to come up when Peter Chmiel heard the cheer from the other end of the cornfield.

All the weight lifted. Like a child coming back to life. He knew it was his boy.

“It was like winning the lottery,” said the 37-year-old Mississauga lawyer, his voice breaking. “You couldn't imagine a better feeling in the world.”

After an agonizing night searching in the darkness for little Jessie Chmiel — who will celebrate his 3rd birthday next Thursday — the nightmare was over.

The toddler took his family from the depths of despair to the peaks of elation in less than 12 hours when he wandered into a cornfield Thursday evening and vanished amid the four-metre-high stalks.

The boy had been gathering firewood with his 5-year-old brother and 9-year-old cousin around 7:15 p.m. Thursday outside his grandparents' house on their 16-hectare farm on Highway 11, north of Newmarket.

“The kids were wandering around in the cornfield, just on the outskirts, near the house,” said Chmiel. After a minute or two, Chmiel said he looked back and Jessie was gone. The other boys hadn't noticed him wander off.

Chmiel and his wife, Betea, started searching the fields, where the stalks stand twice as tall as most adults and dwarf small children. As the sun started to set, the parents' concern turned to panic, so they called 911.

Minutes later the first of more than a hundred officers began arriving. Ontario Provincial Police in Simcoe South called on officers from York and Durham regions, as well as the Bradford Fire Department and local paramedics to aid in the search. Those who were at the end of their shifts volunteered to stay as long as they were needed. Dozens of family, neighbours and other concerned citizens also joined in.

They worked through the night — neighbours combing the fields shoulder-to-shoulder as police on all-terrain vehicles searched the property in grid formation and a heat-seeking helicopter hovered above.

Chmiel said he heard coyotes howling in the distance, but wouldn't let himself think the worst.

“I'm a very positive person, and I said, ‘We have to get this done until we finish.'”

The night flew by, Chmiel said. Hours felt like minutes as he walked up and down the identical rows of corn, urgently calling his son's name through a megaphone.

At last, the cheers.

York Regional Police officers on ATVs found Jessie — alert and looking for his Daddy — about 400 metres from the house, just before 6 a.m.

“The first thing he said was, ‘Daddy, where's my shoe?'” The boy had lost one of his Croc sandals during the night. “I told him we can worry about your shoe later. Then he asked for a tractor ride.”

The boy — who was dressed only in a t-shirt and shorts — was cold and he had a few mosquito bites, but was otherwise found to be in perfect health after a precautionary hospital checkup.

“I think he had half a litre of milk, a muffin and three juices at the hospital,” his father said. “Now he's back and raring to go.”

Chmiel thanked everyone who helped with the search, especially the 120 police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

“They're the heroes in this story,” Chmiel said. “Without them we wouldn't have this happy ending.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/842195--finding-son-like-winning-the-lottery-dad

http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100730/missing-boy-found-100729/20100730/?hub=OttawaHome

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Re: Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 12 Aug - 8:19

I feel my eyes welling up when I think of the cheers when that little laddie was found safe.

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Re: Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours

Post  RIORITA on Thu 12 Aug - 12:28

AnnaEsse wrote:I feel my eyes welling up when I think of the cheers when that little laddie was found safe.


Me too Anna, it's such a joyous story.
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Re: Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours

Post  AnnaEsse on Thu 12 Aug - 12:57

RIORITA wrote:
AnnaEsse wrote:I feel my eyes welling up when I think of the cheers when that little laddie was found safe.


Me too Anna, it's such a joyous story.

It's easy to imagine a parent's feelings when despair and fear turn to hope on hearing a cheer go up.

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Re: Jessie Chmiel vanished in a cornfield Thursday and was missing for almost 12 hours

Post  kitti on Thu 12 Aug - 17:30

Awwww...look at his spotty face, the mossies had a filed day...but hes safe and well....thank god for that, i cant imagine how i would off felt, waiting for news and thinking the worse.


The night flew by, Chmiel said. Hours felt like minutes as he walked up and down the identical rows of corn, urgently calling his son's name through a megaphone....wasnt too dark for him!
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