Youngsters share survival story after becoming lost in the woods
Published Monday, September 17, 2012 6:53PM ADT
Three children are safe after they disappeared into the deep woods behind their home on the weekend but people in the town of Rusagonis, N.B. are still talking about the ordeal.
Four-year-old Skylar, her eight-year-old sister Aurora and nine-year-old brother Jayden had been playing in their backyard Friday afternoon. But when they failed to return home after being called in for supper, their mother grew worried.
“So I came out and looked and once Aurora didn’t answer me, because she always answers me, we knew something was up,” says their mother, Jennifer Turnbull.
The trio had wandered into the thick woods that bordered their backyard and quickly became lost.
“We seen water and Jayden’s like ‘we’ve seen that before,’ so I’m like ‘we’re lost,’” explains Aurora Johnstone.
Word spread quickly about their disappearance and within hours more than 700 people had shown up to help with the search.
The children say they could hear people looking for them.
“We heard branches breaking, and yelling,” says Jayden Jonhstone.
But the searchers couldn’t hear the children calling back and it soon grew cold and dark.
“That’s when the panic started to set in,” says Turnbull. “That’s when I went behind the mini-home and had my little breakdown.”
About seven hours after she realized her children were missing, Turnbull’s panic turned to joy.
“All I heard was screaming,” says Turnbull. “I could hear screams from the truck and then I heard ‘they’re found’ and my cell phone went flying.”
The trio emerged from the woods just after midnight. Aurora says they were surprised to see a large crowd waiting for them.
“I never thought there’d be that many people and I’m just glad to be home,” she says.
While a massive search effort helped to find the siblings, the children are also being credited with making smart decisions in the woods.
Aurora says they did not panic; they decided to stop moving and instead started to make a shelter out of a dead fallen tree.
“We put some ferns on it and we put two pieces of wood on it for a shelter,” she explains.
Despite their wood smarts, Turnbull says the children had been told before not to venture into the woods behind their home.
“They found out the hard way why rules are there.”
The children were all in good health and safely returned to their family.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore