Tracking bracelet led searchers to missing girl

Posted at 7:02 PM, May 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-31 19:02:05-04

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- A Central Virginia mother is praising the small tracking bracelet that led search crews to her missing daughter with special needs Thursday night.

"I'm tell you what, that's the best thing they ever came out with," Wanda Burks told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil on Friday.

The mother of two lives in Brunswick County and has a daughter with Down syndrome who wears a Project Lifesaver Bracelet.

Thursday evening the device paid off when the 11-year-old took off running into the woods.

While it took nearly two hours to find her, it was a clear signal that led searchers straight to her. They admit that they might have spent days trying to find her if she had not been wearing the special transmitting bracelet.

For Dinwiddie County's Rose Gibbs, the bracelet gives her peace of mind. Her husband wears one because of his Alzheimer's and has wandered off several times.

Each time deputies with special receivers were able to locate him within a few minutes.

"It's like a miracle and I'm very very thankful to Dinwiddie County for that service... because all I have to do is pick that phone up when he walks off," Gibbs said.

Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts said most sheriff's offices and police departments offer the Project Lifesaver Bracelets free for a one-time fee.

"Look at last night’s success," Roberts said. "This 11-year-old girl would have possibly never been found an hour before dark in a horribly desolated area. And we were able to walk right to her and literally almost step on her, with this type technology."

Roberts wants more people to take advantage of the program because he said there is a 100-percent track record for people wearing the bracelets being found alive.