By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Wisconsin toddler is safe and home with her family after she was missing for over 24 hours.

It’s the ending law enforcement, volunteers, and Abby Ladwig’s family were praying for.

Three-year-old Abby was found after wandering out of the woods into a yard near her family’s home in Winter, Wisconsin. It’s about a three hour drive from the Twin Cities.

“We were all so happy,” Johnna Ludack, Abby’s aunt, said.

Ludack and her husband had driven up from their home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to help in the search. On Monday night, they heard a neighbor yelling that they had found her.

“The dog had come out of the woods to a neighbor’s house and she walked up to the neighbor’s house and walked into this house,” Ludack said.

Abby first went missing after following her dog, Peanut, out of her family’s yard and into the woods. For the next day hundreds of people took part in the search for her on foot and in the air.

“With the terrain and the brush there it was difficult to conduct the searches,” Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Doug Mrotek said. “At times you had to crawl under or through the brush.”

“We can’t thank everybody enough, we are so grateful,” Ludack said.

On Monday night, the Facebook group that was helping organize search efforts, posted a photo of Abby reunited with her family and hugging her grandma.

Abby told them she had slept in the woods with the dog and saw the search helicopters, but she was scared to yell.

The Sawyer County Sherriff’s Office said Abby had some scratches, bug bites, and was a little dehydrated. She was taken to the hospital to be checked out but was released.

Peanut, the dog that never left her side, is home too.

“The dog protected her and stayed with her,” Ludack said.

The family is hosting a socially distant lunch on Sunday to help thank the volunteers who helped look for Abby. It will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at W 7124 Old Highway 70 in Winter, Wisconsin.

Kate Raddatz

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