A Thornbury mum relives the moments when her five year old daughter went missing from a residential park in Thornbury.
By Trucks79 | Saturday, June 23, 2012, 15:13
Sam Purcell's daughter Kellis, was playing in the residential park near Windrush Court earlier this month whilst her father Steve Turner was visiting his sister in a nearby house.
When Mr Turner went to the park to collect his daughter a few moments later he realised that Kellis was no longer in the park. After an initial frantic look around the park and surrounding streets Mr Turners sister telephoned the police to report the missing child.
Police arrived at the scene within ten minutes and a police search of the local area began. Initially around six police cars were drafted into the area along with the support of the police helicopter. In a spot of luck the crew from the police helicopter spotted missing Kellis outside a house on nearby Oakleaze Road after Kellis innocently stood watching the helicoptors activity. Police were directed to the area and confirmed that the girl spotted was missing Kellis.
Speaking about the incident Sam said "When i spoke to Kellis afterwards she said she met a girl aged around 8 or 9 years old and they decided to go to the girls house, who I believe lives somewhere on Oakleaze road in Thornbury, Kellis just wondered off, she said she was in the back garden of the girls house when she heard the helicopter which was hovering quite low at the time and thought she would come out of the garden gate and have a look, thankfully, because that's when the police spotted her!"
Sam continued by saying " I was absolutely amazed at how many people in Thornbury, not just in the vicinity of Avon Way, but much further afield immediately just dropped everything and started searching for Kellis, and within minutes of her wondering off a Facebook status was put up by Ricky Kingscott of Ricksink Tattooing, who also lives in Windrush Court, stating that a 5 year old girl had gone missing in Thornbury, I know rick quite well but at the time he, along with most other people in Thornbury did not actually know it was Kellis that had gone missing, but still without knowing who. everyone dropped everything and started looking for her".
Speaking of the police response on the day Sam said "The police were absolutely fantastic, they arrived in what seemed like minutes and dispersed in every direction, some in their cars and some on foot, when Kellis was found the police decided that it would be best to walk her back to her dad, instead of putting her in a police car which would have frightened her more".
Reliving the moment that residents in the area came together to find her missing daughter Sam said "Myself and Steve were absolutely amazed at how the people of Thornbury clubbed together to help look for Kellis, lots of them not knowing who it was that went missing, they just knew it was a 5 year old girl, Word got around so very quickly and it seemed like the whole of Thornbury was searching for our little girl".
"what an amazing community to be a part of, we owe them all everything, and will never be able to thank everyone enough for the support each and every one of them showed to us. Fortunately for us Kellis was found, safe and well, and was not even alarmed, I don't think for a minute she even realised what was going on, she was not scared at all, and just walked with the police officer until they found Steve to reunite her with him".
"As you can probably imagine, all sorts went through our heads, I'm sure every parent in the same situation would think the same. Knowing how much the people in Thornbury helped out and within minutes of not being able to find Kellis, the amount of people who were out of their houses searching for her is truly overwhelming. We feel lucky that we live in such an amazing community, with such amazing, helpful people.