Missing toddler spent the night alone in woods before rescue, sheriff says

Ruby Heider is back with her family. (Credit: Sumter County Sheriff's Office)

Authorities in South Carolina said a 3-year-old girl is back with her family after separating from them inside Poinsett State Park. 

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office first put out a Facebook alert about Ruby Heider, the missing child, on Friday. They said Ruby went missing around 7:30 p.m. local time after her family couldn’t locate her while she was on a camping trip. 

Several federal and local agents plus volunteers assisted with the search. 

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"Every camper in this campground came out," Tracey Hagen, a camper, told WIS News 10. "We came out with flashlights, we started calling her name. We checked in with every camper at the site knocking on doors, asking if they had seen her."

Authorities then posted that she was found at 11:00 a.m. local time on Saturday. They said she was less than a mile away from the campsite. 

According to WIS News 10, Ruby was found frightened, cold, and dehydrated.

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Sheriff Anthony Dennis told the outlet Ruby wandered away from her family while looking for a bathroom. 

According to state park officials, Poinsett State Park is 1,000 acres with miles of trails for various activities.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.