Everyone is relieved that 25-year-old Heather Gary and two four-year-old children are home safe. But there are still questions as to how the three went missing in the first place.
It began as a Sunday adventure and turned into a 24-hour search. But thanks to one volunteer, there was a happy ending. What started as a normal afternoon turned into a Sunday Ryan Frederick will never forget. Frederick and his children were riding 4-wheelers when they saw a man walking along the road—no shoes, no shirt, clearly in need of help.
"I actually approached him because it was obvious he was disoriented,” said Frederick. “It was very obvious he was disoriented, confused, and lost." That man was Colby Louviere, who left Gary and the kids after their ATV became stuck in the mud. Frederick says they helped search the immediate area, but nothing and no one turned up.
"We looked for about an hour and again, he was disoriented, confused, and frankly, I became convinced he had no idea where the 4-wheeler was,” said Frederick. “Honestly, I didn't know what to make of the story."
But as it turns out Louviere was three, four miles from the site. Frederick says Louviere asked to be taken to a friend’s house. Concerned about the mother and children’s well-being, he called the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office, which prompted the search. “I just told them somebody needed to go check on this guy,” said Frederick.
It wasn't long until law enforcement and hundreds volunteers scoured the area in rural St. Martin Parish looking for any sign of the missing family or the ATV they were riding. Frederick says the news they were alive and well came as a huge relief. "Thank god. Thank god. I can't imagine,” said Frederick.
“I have two small children and I can't imagine if my kids were lost." Gary and the two kids were found and rescued by boat around 7:30pm Monday. They were dehydrated, bit up by bugs, but were otherwise in good spirits.
1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509