"Didn’t believe eyes": Förster describes how he found Julia

In cold and wet weather, around 1,400 rescue workers systematically search the forest areas between Bavaria and the Czech Republic. After two days the news that everyone has been waiting for comes: The missing eight-year-old is alive. The forester who found them thinks it’s a miracle.

After the successful search for eight-year-old Julia in the border area between Germany and the Czech Republic, there is great relief. The girl had spent two nights at low temperatures in the vast forest area before being picked up by a forester on Czech territory early on Tuesday afternoon has been discovered. The forester Martin Semecky described in the Czech newspaper “Denik” how he found Julia. In consultation with the operations management team, he and four colleagues combed part of the forest that had not yet been searched. “When we saw them, we couldn’t believe our own eyes,” said Semecky. “It’s a miracle she survived.”

The girl was outwardly unharmed and responsive, but was hypothermic, and is now being treated as an inpatient in a hospital, reported the Upper Palatinate Police Headquarters in Regensburg on Tuesday evening. When the forester discovered the child, it was completely exhausted in a bush and did not attract attention, the police said. “According to initial assumptions, it is assumed that the eight-year-old was constantly on the move and covered several kilometers on foot in the forest.”

The girl from Berlin disappeared late on Sunday afternoon while hiking with her family in the Bavarian-Czech border area. The parents had lost sight of the girl, her six-year-old brother and a nine-year-old cousin below the Cerchov mountain and called the rescue workers. At first they only found the brother and the cousin. The three children had played in the vast area and were lost in the process.

Around 1,400 rescue workers from Bavaria and the Czech Republic took part in the almost two-day search for Julia in the area between the cities of Waldmünchen, Furth im Wald and Domazlice. The Bavarian Red Cross in Cham even spoke on Facebook of the largest cross-border search campaign that has ever taken place in the region. The German ambassador in Prague, Andreas Künne, thanked the Czech police via Twitter for the excellent cooperation.