Lost girl found unharmed in woods near her home

October 02, 1994

A 4-year-old Ellicott City girl who had been missing since Friday evening was found unharmed in a Howard County cornfield about an hour after sunrise yesterday, county police said.

Alexandra Zirschky, whose nickname is Lexie, had been missing since 6 p.m. Friday when she wandered away from her mother and 1-year-old sister during a walk through woods near their home in the 3800 block of Manor Lane.

About 150 people, including police officers, volunteer firefighters from as far away as Frederick County and neighbors, searched for Lexie throughout the night.

About 5 a.m., police returned to the site where she had disappeared. The girl's mother, Natalie Zirschky, set out at first light into the woods, with Howard County police Sgt. Dan Coon, the family dog and several friends, calling Lexie's name.

They heard a faint reply shortly before 8 a.m.

Sergeant Coon followed the sound and found Lexie huddled next to a fallen tree, about three-quarters of a mile from her home.

"That's apparently where she spent the night," said Howard County police spokesman Sgt. Steven Keller. "She was cold and had some scratches, but she seems to be in real good shape."

After being reunited with her mother, Lexie was evaluated at Howard County General Hospital and sent home.

Yesterday, she appeared unscathed by the adventure as she padded about her front porch. Ms. Zirschky declined to speak in detail about the incident, but said: "I want to thank everybody who stayed up all night. I'm really grateful."

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