Prayers were answered last night after 25-year-old Heather Gary, 4-year-old Landon Sonnier, and 4-year-old Taylin Toucheck were found safe and received medical attention after a long and rigorous search.
After an almost 24 hour search, the three were found in a wooded area about a mile from where they were last seen Sunday afternoon. “They were actually found near a waterway that was very dense. I was talking to one of the relatives and she said Gary could hear us and was trying to answer back, but I guess since it’s so dense her voice just wasn’t carrying,” said Major Ginny Higgins, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Higgins said they were found after a man and son, who were part of the search team, decided to scan a certain area that was more difficult to reach. “It was this one particular area that one of the gentlemen who’s an avid hunter said knows like the back of his hand and asked us if he and his son could go to this particular area to maybe check it out because it was kind of a difficult place to get to and turns out that’s where they found them,” said Higgins.
Prior to them last being seen walking off of Joel Blanchard Road in St. Martinville, the ATV they were riding on got stuck in the mud. Gary’s boyfriend and father of the little girl, Clyde Louvier, left to go find help. A passerby picked him up and brought him to his home where he called for assistance. Higgins said because the brushes were so thick and there’s so much vegetation, Gary and the two children were most likely walking in a circle and got lost.
“They originally just went for a ride and they got stuck in the mud. He left to go get them help to have someone help to pull it out and I guess they got impatient. She started walking trying to find him I’m assuming and got disoriented,” said Higgins. Higgins said after the whole ordeal the children were in good spirits. “The kids were in like awesome spirits and not afraid or scared of anything so they’re being checked out and hopefully they’ll be released,” said Higgins.
Higgins said it could have been much worse especially with the open area and wild animals. Thankfully the three walked away with only slight dehydration and mosquito bites.