HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, MI – Wherever 4-year-old Lilly Osborne goes, her brother, Rowan, 3, isn’t far behind.
It’s why they wound up together, down the street, locked in a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado.
This, while police, firefighters, tracking dogs, railroad workers, nurses at the nearby Spectrum Health building, family and friends – and searchers in helicopters and an airplane- conducted a frantic search after the children went missing Thursday, June 8.
Their mother reported them missing around 11:30 a.m. from their East Lakewood Boulevard home in a mostly commercial area west of 120th Avenue.
Rescuers had looked all over when a sheriff’s deputy heard a faint horn from down the street. The children’s grandmother spotted them inside the truck, with tinted windows, parked under a shady tree.
They apparently took a walk, climbed up the step into the truck, locked the door, and found themselves trapped inside.
Police broke out the passenger side window to free them.
Matt and Christyl Osborne were reunited with their children soon after they were found.
Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Bennett said the children appeared to be fine but the parents took them to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.
Their aunt, Staci Bloemendal, said the family feared the worst.
“All of your nightmares come true,” she said. “It’s just a miracle it came out the way it did. The kids, they can come home and get cuddled.”
She said she was stunned by the number of people who got involved in the search effort.
“Everybody kind of came together and they did care,” she said. “People, they stepped up. They acted like it was their own kids. We’re just very thankful that it wasn’t worse. Imagine the things running through your mind.”
She said that the children slipped away in an instant. They always stay in the backyard, away from the busy street.
She said that the parents were grateful, too, for the help.
“They’re awesome parents,” she said.
Down the street, Steve Sarna, owner of MI Auto Center, showed up after the children were found in the truck on his lot. It looked like they had been looking at themselves in the truck’s mirror, he said.
He vacuumed up glass from the shattered window. It was all over the truck.
“It’s a small price to pay for the safety of a couple of kids.”