Conservation officer finds missing 3-year-old northern Michigan girl

Contact: Lt. James Gorno, 989-732-3541
Agency: Natural Resources

July 1, 2020

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Brad Dohm made an unexpected new friend this summer.

Corporal Dohm was off duty, enjoying the summer evening on Friday, June 19, when he received a call about a missing 3-year-old girl. The toddler had been reported missing from a nearby trailer park in Emmet County for approximately 95 minutes. Familiar with Dohm’s extensive search and rescue skills, the Little Traverse Township supervisor directly contacted Dohm to assist with the search.

Dohm has a military background and is a land navigation instructor with more than 20 years of experience. He teaches new conservation officers how to track missing individuals by looking for clues in the landscape.

Without hesitating, Dohm logged into service and reported to the starting location dispatch provided him.

Dohm navigated and tracked a deteriorated trail that he believed was the girl’s path. Within 39 minutes of logging into service, Dohm located the girl in a fenced field, south of Powers Road. She had walked a quarter of a mile through a thick, wooded area, across a small creek, barbed wire, electric fence and a grass pasture.

Happy to see Dohm, the girl appeared to be in good condition – aside for countless bug bites. While carrying the toddler out of the woods, Dohm learned that her favorite color is pink, she was very hungry and wanted to see her mother.

Dohm reunited the child with her mother who was waiting with emergency medical services personnel.

“Cpl. Dohm made excellent use of his search and rescue skills,” said Assistant Chief Steven Burton, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “We’re proud of Cpl. Dohm’s immediate response to jump into action and help. This search and rescue incident is a prime example of why we embed conservation officers throughout the state and provide them with the equipment they need to be successful.”

Michigan conservation officers receive national accredited search and rescue training. They are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.

Read about more events like this in the Conservation Officer Bi-Weekly Reports