KNOB NOSTER, Mo. (KSHB/CNN) - A corporal with a Missouri sheriff’s office is being praised for her rescue of a 2-year-old girl, who got stuck in a muddy pond because she wanted to go swimming.
Cpl. Nicole Collins with the Johnson County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Office navigated through some rough terrain Monday to rescue the 2-year-old girl, who had wandered onto a rural property in Knob Noster, Missouri. She said the rescue was “instinct.”
"It's just instinct that comes back to us. Also having kids myself, your natural instinct is to save them, no matter what," Collins said.
The toddler had been reported missing 20 minutes earlier. Neighbors and deputies formed a search party in that short amount of time, and when Collins saw a pond that hadn’t been checked, she made her way over.
She found the 2-year-old stuck in the mud and nearly submerged in water.
"I swam just a little bit, and then, my feet, my boots were stuck in the mud. I had to use my hands to pull my knees up out of it a couple times. So, I know she was real stuck," Collins said.
The girl only suffered a few scratches and bruises from the incident. She told Collins she ended up at the pond because she wanted to go for a swim.
“The little girl stayed strong. She was talking about her boo boos, but her mom was tearful and thankful to have her back,” Collins said. “They get away real quick at that age. Some of them don’t have that fear that saves older kids and adults.”
Collins, who has been with the sheriff’s office for four years and is a field-training officer, received praise from her peers and boss, Sheriff Scott Munsterman, for her actions.
“It’s an outstanding outcome to a potential tragic event,” Munsterman said.