WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – After a volunteer found Trumbull County toddler Rainn Peterson Sunday evening, following a two-day search, many are wondering what happened to her during her time missing.
When little Rainn was rescued, all she was suffering from was dehydration and a low body temperature, but other than that was doing just fine. That’s why the question on everyone’s mind is how did this little girl survive, especially after Saturday, when it was raining and cold.
Trumbull County Children Services Executive Director Tim Schaffner, as well as Rainn’s great-grandparents, Dora and Richard Peterson, have expressed shock that she was found alive.
Doctor John Cox is a pediatrician. He said studies have shown that children can show signs of hypothermia in as little as an hour and a half when they’re wet and cold, even if it’s 50 degrees outside.
“Being in wet clothes and cold, exposed air and the wind all night long, without anything blanketing her or keeping her sheltered, I’m really surprised that she made it through…the night without becoming severely, severely hypothermic.”
Volunteers found Rainn in a field less than a mile from her Route 45 home in North Bloomfield. She went missing Friday evening, and all reports to this point indicate that she spent two nights outside.
“A pediatrician will tell you, you know, there are documented cases of children surviving extremes for long periods of time, but it’s the exception to the rule,” Schaffner said.
Hundreds of volunteers searched the area for two days before the little girl was found lying down in high grass of off Peck Leach Road.
Medical personnel at St. Joseph’s Medical Center have been treating Peterson for the past two days but have not said anything about her condition. Peterson’s great-grandparents have said she’s doing well.
The Bristol Fire Dept. is having a toy drive for Rainn Peterson until October 31. Those interested in participating can drop their gifts off at the department, located at 2100 Greenville Rd., at any time. Fire workers are asking for new stuffed animals and toys, will not accept money, and will donate any excess toys to the Toys for Tots Drive.