New York Sate Trooper vehicle

State trooper fighting against darkness finds missing 2-yr-old that clutches onto him & won’t let go

A Tiffy Taffy Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to enjoy again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little positivity to your day. This story is originally from March 2021. Enjoy! 


When a child goes missing these days, the pressure is on from the get-go. The moment a parent or guardian realizes they are gone, action needs to be taken, because, with each moment, finding them becomes more and more unlikely. One little girl was seriously lucky that a certain state trooper was on shift the day she went missing. He climbed a mountain to find her and brought her safely home.


State trooper saved her life

In March 2021 in South Bristol, New York, a two-year-old girl went missing. It was a nice day outside, ideal for children to play outside, but not to remain there at night because the temperatures drop so low. A state trooper called Brian Hotchkiss was the head of the search party that came together to find the little girl. The team knew they had to act fast because of how cold it gets at night. Summer might be around the corner, but when the sun goes down in March the temperatures are freezing.


Brian said in an interview: “These missing kids, it can go really bad. It’s time-sensitive depending on the time of year, so although it was a nice day the temperature was dropping.”

Another trooper, called Hotchkiss, was called in to help Brian with the search. Both troopers started in the neighborhood, knocking on many of the neighbors’ doors, hoping she had simply found her way there and was being cared for by someone she knows. When they had no luck with there, Brian made the call to move the search party to the mountain. It was less than half an hour from her home. They had to search fast, because they were trying to beat the cold. 

“It was getting close to getting dark out and getting cold. We wanted to get the search done as soon as we could,” said the Ontario County Sheriff, Kevin Henderson.

Read: Dying truck driver uses final breaths to save school children after bus crash


“That’s something I’ll never forget”

The mountain was only a half an hour’s walk from the little girl’s house, but it took Brian and Hotchkiss 45 minutes to hike to the top. They were determined to find her. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t check. I kept climbing and climbing after about 45 minutes of the climb. Then, I looked up to the summit of the mountain and all I could see were trees and dirt,” said Brian. 

Video source: Youtube /

Hotchkiss was out of breath and panting from climbing the steep mountain so fast. When he reached the top, he was exhausted. He was bleak to see there were only trees and dirt within his eyesight. But, as he looked a bit closer, he saw something that stood out among all the green and brown shades. 

“My heart just dropped. I was so excited. She hugged me immediately and wouldn’t let go. We’re very thankful for it,” said Hotchkiss. He had found the little girl just in the nick of time. There was only about 30 minutes of sunlight left in the day. If the sun had set, it would be less likely they would find her alive. 

He found the 2-year-old in the mountain all alone. She was clearly happy to be found, because she threw her arms up in the air and hugged Hotchkiss in gratitude and relief. Clinging to her savior, she remained in his arms for the entire walk back down the mountain. 

I’ve seen these go really bad. We weren’t giving up. We were fearing the worst was going to happen. Her turning and looking at me, throwing her hands up in the air, that’s something I’ll never forget,” said Hotchkiss. 

Keep Reading: 16-Year-Old Hero Jumps Into River To Save 3 Teen Girls As Their Car Sinks. He Also Rescues Cop Who Swam Out To Help Girls But Started To Struggle



  1. “New York State Trooper finds missing 2-year-old near Canandaigua.” WHAM, March 29, 2021.
  2. “NY trooper rescues missing toddler from Bristol mountaintopDemocrat & Chronicle. April 1, 2021.