Officer, K-9 help reunite mother, daughter after fireworks show - WNEM TV 5

Officer, K-9 help reunite mother, daughter after fireworks show

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

It was supposed to be a night of fun and festivities until it turned into a tense ordeal for parents in search of their little one.

The mom said the whole community jumped into action screaming their little girl's name. Little did she know, two heroes had already found the 7-year-old.

"I just thought I wasn't going to see my baby. That's all I kept thinking, that I wasn't going to see my baby that night," said Tiffany Gaiter, mom.

It was a Fourth of July the Gaiter family will never forget.

"I wasn't going to put her in bed. I wasn't gonna kiss her goodnight," Tiffany Gaiter said.

Tiffany and Vernon Gaiter took their three children to the fireworks show on Ojibway Island in Saginaw when the unthinkable happened.

"We saw her disappear into the crowd," Tiffany Gaiter said.

Seven-year-old Sammie, who has autism, got lost in a sea of people.

"You're numb and you can't believe it's happening to you. And then you get a sense of everything bad that can happen starts going through your mind," Tiffany Gaiter said.

After what seemed like forever they finally got the good news.

"He said ma'am, her name's Samantha, pink shirt. We found her. She's safe. She's with a cop," Tiffany Gaiter said.

Officer Bradley Holp and his K-9 Cigan found Sammie.

"It's one of our scariest things to go through. It's just overwhelming and heartfelt that I was able to do something like that," Holp said.

He credits his K-9 partner Cigan for helping keep Sammie calm in all of the chaos.

"She was really scared of me at first when I held her hand and said 'I'm the police. I'm here to help. We're going to find your parents,'" Holp said. "Oh, I got the perfect tool in the back of my car. That's when I got him out and he's a great ice breaker."

Two brave officers teamed up to help bring the family back together - something Sammie's older sister Jordan is beyond thrilled about.

"I felt super happy that she was found and that a lot of people helped," Jordan said.

Tiffany Gaiter said she was amazed at the response team from the community while the situation was unfolding. She said everyone around her stayed and helped look for Sammie until she was found.

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