Yeah so the title sucks, never claimed to be good at them so get over it........................................ Thursday night, I was at work. I had just stopped by the house for a little while and got back to rolling down the dark roads waiting for either end of shift or the chaos and mayhem......................................... When I left my house, I had heard some chatter from another deputy and some of the local guys on his side of the county, but didn't think anything of it. A few minutes later, I hear my coworkers ask dispatch if the sheriff or undersheriff had be notified. Immediately, every red light in my head went the hell off. Here I was, totally clueless and 50 miles away wondering what the hell they had gotten into since we don't notify the bosses unless it's something serious. I'm guessing that whatever had happened occured while I was at home. I had to answer a call of nature and had checked out, so my radio wasn't with me. So I grab my cell phone and asked him what the hell is going on. He tells me they have a missing child and that was all I needed to know. I told him I would be right there. Of course, being 50 miles away, I'm not going to be right there, I think it took me about 25 minutes to get there. I hung up on him, called the other deputy on duty to make sure he is going that way and sure enough, he is almost there. On my way, I contact dispatch and tell her that she needed to notify our off duty K-9. Since the undersheriff had gone 10-8, I told her to page him and let him know. It was only about 30 degrees or so that night. Pretty balmy temps for what we had been going through, but still pretty wicked for a scared 10 year old. Speed was essential. I rolled into town at about 1100PM and went straight to the local PD. I walked in and there must have been fifty people there. I walked in just to catch the tail end of the briefing, which was being given by an off duty state trooper that lives in the town. After he got done, I approached him and had him give me the shortened version of what was going down. I then went up to my undersheriff, who rolled in behind me to make sure he had received the page about our K-9. I then climbed into my patrol car and rolled out to a corner of the town to begin a search for this little girl. Since it was cold, I pulled out my coat, grabbed both my ski caps, some gloves, flashlight and my 10 million candlepower spotlight out of the trunk. Although I had pulled it out before to look for people, we found them before the light actually was of any use. We broke off into several different groups, our task to walk through the NE corner of town. The trooper, who had unofficially taken charge of the incident until more brass could show up, was out with our group. Him and me were the only ones on foot that had radio communications, and after getting away from my car, I lose commo also, but I could still talk to the trooper, who could relay if need be. In my group, I had a local PD guy from another town who had just moved to the area. We did this without words, but it was for the best because if we found something, we were going to have to treat it like a crime scene. As our foot search continued on without any success and our lights began to dim from losing their charge, our hopes were sinking. As cops, most of us possess a survival instinct in some part, and a winner instinct for a lot of us. We head out on our daily beats or our investigations with the drive to not only clear up a situation, but to make arrests and stay alive. For some of us, we strut around like the king cock of the farmyard, and for others, we just go about racking up arrests, solving crimes, making solutions for folks without much though of it. A lot of us, we're egotists. Some of us are worse, some of us don't like to brag. When we come together for something like this, egos get checked at the door. I began to loose track of time as my search efforts became more desparate. This wasn't the first time this town had come together to search for a missing child, but the last time since I've been here, that child was found. We finally came to a finish point in our search with no success. We gathered back at the local PD. Our K-9 had come up short also. Cops from other agencies began showing up. At one point, one of the guys from my jail who had joined in after he got off duty counted over 20 agencies in the area. We had state, county, local from two different states and we were waiting for the feds to show up. A bloodhound from a Texas prison even had joined the search and she had not been able to locate the girl. Inside the local PD, the place had been setup for operations. Law enforcement had taken over the PD office, which is co-located with city hall and the fire department. Civilians were in the hallway and conference room, where people had started stocking up on food and drinks. My undersheriff had taken command of the operation. Like I said to someone at a later time, there was no man better for the job. Cool headed, what he couldn't take care of, he delegated. We had gone out to bang on doors with a probation officer. The undersheriff sent me down to a grocery store to review videotape. I watched almost half a day of tape in an hour. While sitting in the operations center, we received a phone call from an unnamed area of the state after the Amber Alert was issued. For some reason, the cop that was talking to the guy thought a deputy would be better suited for the task and since I was the only deputy in the room, I was graced with the task. I was able to talk for a little bit while my brother listened in. Finally, my brother took over the conversation and it was finally decided we were just spinning our wheels talking to this old boy.