Family and volunteers waited for the word, knowing that as time went on, the chances of Amber being found in good condition were growing slim.
DNR Officer Jeff Ginn found Amber Rose Smith in the woods almost two miles away from home.
â??I was surprised to see her,â?? said Ginn. â??She was scared. She was crying standing there in the brush. I just picked her up and ran to the road.â??
Amber's parents were emotional, not knowing what exactly they should prepare for after their 2-year-old daughter wandered away from home Tuesday afternoon.
â??Itâ??s very stressful,â?? said Diane Smith, Amberâ??s mother. â??You got your mind going, racingâ?¦ didn't know whether or not she was going to be alive or dead. You have that stuff going through your mind.â??
Amber was found with minor scratches and bruises around 2pm Wednesday afternoon in Newaygo County's Barton Township near the Manistee National Forest. Police expanded the original search area late Tuesday.
â??We'd like to thank all the volunteers all the police officers that were involved in this, finding our little girl alive and well, and she's doing good right now, very tired but good,â?? said Diane Smith.
Amber was taken to Spectrum Health Hospital in Big Rapids. Her parents said she was shaken up and both hungry and thirsty. They are most thankful she is alive.
â??[Itâ??s the] best day of our life, can't ask for more. Except thank you to God upstairs who brought her home to us,â?? said Smith.Amber went missing Tuesday afternoon when her father said he left the room she was in, and when he came back she was gone.
He and Diane spent about 30 to 60 minutes searching for her on his own and then called police who immediately began searching with police dogs and a state police helicopter.
An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday after 11 p.m.
Nearly 200 volunteers were bused in to help in the search.