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Mills girl home safely following search

The search for a rural New York Mills girl Monday evening ended with the pre-teen back safely with her mother.

The call came in shortly after 6 p.m. Ronda Flores reported that her 11-year-old daughter had wandered off on foot and was missing. Their home is about three miles west of New York Mills.

She was located on a frozen slough, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department.

"She was gone from home a total of about an hour," said Otter Tail Chief Deputy Stacey Paulseth. She was located about three-quarters of a mile from her house, Paulseth said.

"She was surprised to see the officers at first. Apparently, she thought she had done something wrong," said Paulseth. "But when we said we were there to help her, she was happy."

Most of the search was concentrated south of Highway 10 and the city compost site, west of New York Mills.

Otter Tail deputies responded, along with New York Mills Fire & Rescue volunteers, and Perham EMS staff.

Deputies determined the girl left her home on foot and were able to track her footprints along muddy township roads and located her near a frozen slough.

NYM Fire & Rescue personnel warmed the girl up before Perham EMS transported her to Perham Memorial Hospital - where she was evaluated and released.

"It was really just for safety that she was transported to the hospital. It was cool out, and the snow was very slushy and watery," Paulseth said.

The Perham Fire Department responded as well, but was called off before arriving to the scene when the girl was located. State Patrol officers also responded.