Lafayette Sheriff's daughter, babysitter found safe after overnight search at lake
BROUSSARD - Tuesday morning, deputies and volunteers found Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber's 7-year-old daughter and her 21-year-old babysitter covered in mud, shielding themselves from mosquitoes after the two went missing in a waterway overnight.
Officials said the two disappeared near a wooded area off Garber Road after they had gone out on Lake Martin around 5 o'clock Monday afternoon. According to a report from KATC, the two had launched the boat from the sheriff's nearby property.
Several agencies joined the overnight search effort, including Louisiana State Troopers, Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Deputies, and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents. As the search continued into the early morning hours of Tuesday, the sheriff's office also publicly asked for volunteers to aid in the search.
The two were finally found sitting in an old oil well site by Lake Martin around 9 a.m. Tuesday. A search party found the young girl and her babysitter, who were covered in mud to ward off mosquitoes. The sheriff's office credited the 21-year-old Juliana Brooks with being very experienced in the water, noting that she knew exactly what to do when they got lost.
Seven-year-old Cora Gardner was extremely happy to be found and was seen laughing and in good spirits following the rescue. Sheriff Garber later expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming response from law enforcement officials and volunteers who came out to help in the search.