WATCH: 4-year-old Evelyn ‘Vadie’ Sides tells story of being missing for 2 days in Lee Co. woods

Volunteer who helped find 4-year-old girl joins GDA

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Evelyn “Vadie” Sides was missing for two days in a heavily wooded area in rural Lee County before she was found Friday afternoon. All she had with her was her dog.

Over the weekend, Vadie was recovering but doing well.

In fact, Vadie was doing well enough that her mother, Amanda Sides, posted on Facebook that the brave 4-year-old girl wanted to share what happened when she disappeared on Wednesday afternoon.

You can watch the video below:

I do not have enough words to express the proper gratitude to all of our community that came out to help us find this little angel. Jay Jones, Jimmy Taylor, and the rest of the Lee County Sheriff's Department, Lee County, Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Auburn PD, Opelika PD, Air Force National Guard, Macon County Sheriff's Department.... the list goes on and on. Thank you all so much. We have been overwhelmed by the unending unbelievable support we've gotten from this community. Also, the people who kept me alive, force fed me water and chicken broth, searched the woods endlessly, and basically lived at Nanny's house until she was found.. Amanda D. Odom Yeager, Doug Yeager, Jennifer K Johnson, Jessie Smith, Melanie Payne, Kyle Payne, Willie Terrell Payne, Nick Reardon, Erin Lance Hunter, Pamela Lee Sides, Kenneth Busby, Carole Corsby, Wes Burt, and Samantha Burt Copelan, I will probably never be able to thank you all enough. To all of the volunteers who came out in the middle of a global pandemic to traipse around in the woods, sometimes into the early morning hours, God Bless you all. Anyone I've forgotten just know that you are loved and we are incredibly grateful. We have been on an emotional roller coaster the last few days, and today I'm finally starting to breathe normally again. Vadie is still recovering in the hospital, but she is doing very well. She asked me to record her telling her story. It is what I would call the short version for sure, but below is the video of Vadie telling me what happened to her. I'm sure she will have more details in the future.

Posted by Amanda Sides on Saturday, March 28, 2020

On Friday, about 300 people had volunteered to search for Vadie before she was found around 3:20 p.m. just east of Lee Road 65.

“No words are capable of describing everyone’s relief. We are just, ecstatic might be a good word. She is in good shape, she is responsive, she is talking, she’s alert. She is in good physical condition, and the best part is she is with her mama," Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said.

Jones became emotional when he thanked the hundreds of volunteers.

“Our thanks just don’t seem like enough, but they have our sincere and heartfelt thanks for the sacrifices they made - all the volunteers that came with one goal in mind and that was finding this little girl and getting her back to her mom and dad, which just happened a few minutes ago," Jones said.

Vadie had last been seen walking her dog around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 5000 block of Lee Road 66.

“The call was from a caretaker for the child, a friend of the family, she reported that she and the 4-year-old missing girl identified as baby Sides were outside in the back of the residence, that literally she was there one moment and then she looked up and the little girl had disappeared from her view,” said Jones.

Monday morning, Ed Casey, one of the dozens of volunteers who searched for Vadie talked with Mike and Janice about the moment they found her.

Casey said Vadie was calm and brave and was actually asleep when they found her. She woke up ready to tell her mommy about what happened. Casey called it a miracle.

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