Police use thermal imaging camera to find missing girl in Florida swamp

Police used thermal imaging to guide officers to a five-year-old girl who had gone missing in a swamp in Florida.

The girl, who has autism, wandered away from her home on Monday and was quickly reported missing, Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister said.

She was found later that day.

Thermal camera footage showed the little girl walking through ankle-deep water near Tampa.

“Hey, I think I got her in the woods,” a deputy in the helicopter told colleagues on the ground.

“She might be able to hear her name if you call her. She might be about 80ft in front of you.”

A body camera recording showed the moment the deputies made contact with the child.

One called her name and held up his arms. The little girl also held her arms up and walked towards him and he quickly picked the child up.

“Let’s get you out of the water. I’ll get you to everyone,” he told her as they walked back through the woods.

“Their quick action saved the day, turning a potential tragedy into a hopeful reunion,” the sheriff said.

“Their dedication shows what service and protection are all about here at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.”