An eight-year-old had apparently got lost on the German-Czech border. The girl stayed alone in the cold for two nights. Further details will now be revealed.
Eight-year-old Julia from Germany spent two days and two nights all alone in the Czech Bohemian Forest. The luck to have found her alive is still overwhelming for the forester Martin Semecky: “That was an unbelievable feeling, these emotions cannot be described in words,” said the Czech on Wednesday. According to the police, the girl is now fine again.
What was supposed to be just an excursion turned into a martyrdom: the girl from Berlin disappeared without a trace on a late Sunday afternoon while hiking with her family in the Bavarian-Czech border region. Semecky and his colleagues, in consultation with the operations management, searched a piece of forest that was just outside the official search radius.
“Suddenly little Julia was standing in front of us, she was sitting about ten meters away in the tall grass,” reported the forester. When he said her name, the child only nodded her head. He said: “Everything is good, great!” Then he wrapped her in his green jacket and alerted the operations center. Semecky now praised the girl’s perseverance in nature: “To do that, she must have been very skilled.”
According to the Bavarian police, Julia is in good health. “She is actually doing relatively well,” said the spokesman for the Upper Palatinate police headquarters, Josef Weindl. She spent the first night in a hospital in a warming bed because she was hypothermic after the two cold nights in the forest. “It shows no external injuries,” explained Weindl. “She speaks and is so far inconspicuous.”
Julia was found about a kilometer away from a spring called Ceska studanka. It should have drinking water quality. But it was unclear whether the girl had made it by then. “We didn’t want to burden them with questions,” said the forester. “She looked scared, all alone in the woods – without her parents.”
Even directly, the child must have wandered more than two hours to get to the place where it was found. Then she may have decided to hold out and wait for help. But it could also have been running in circles for a long time. “Maybe we will find out later,” says Semecky. “The main thing is that it turned out well.”
Around 1,400 rescue workers from Bavaria and the Czech Republic took part in the nerve-wracking search in the area between the cities of Waldmünchen, Furth im Wald and Domazlice (Taus). Helicopters with thermal imaging cameras circled over the forest. Search dogs picked up a track – but lost it again. The German ambassador in Prague, Andreas Künne, thanked the Czech police for their work.
In the case of Martin Semecky, who is celebrated like a hero, the inquiries from the media are now overturning. Not only from the Czech Republic, but also from Germany. The employee of the municipal forest administration of Domazlice (Taus), who knows his territory like no other, seems to be rather uncomfortable. He now has to continue working, said Semecky on the phone and said goodbye.