ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A routine air patrol took a serious turn for two Indiana State Police troopers Monday when they helped find a missing child in Elkhart County.
State Police pilot, Sgt. Eric Streeval, and Tactical Flight Officer John Riggers, were flying a patrol in Indianapolis when they received a call around 9:15 p.m. that the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department needed help finding a missing child in a rural area.
Streeval and Riggers immediately flew to northern Indiana to help with the search according to police.
After arriving in the area just after 11 p.m. and stopping to refuel in South Bend, they began to search a cornfield that was identified as an area of interest. The troopers searched for 45 minutes and then decided to expand the area and identified who they believed was the missing child.
The troopers stayed in the area of the missing child, giving directions to search parties for about a half hour until the child was found. The child was in good health even after being missing for several hours in high heat, police said.
“I felt like there was an angel looking after that child that directed us to the right location,” Riggers said in a media release.
Riggers has been a tactical flight officer for about a year while Streeval has been a pilot for the state police for 19 years.
The state police have two Bell 407 helicopters, a Bell 206L helicopter and two Cessna planes, police said.