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Okaloosa County mother recalls getting lost in woods

Okaloosa County

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A weekend trail walk lead to an Okaloosa County mom trying to keep four children warm and safe overnight after they got lost in the woods.

Marcella Black went on a trail walk with three of her kids and a family friend. The group was using a map on her phone, but the phone died.

“That’s where things went wrong and we got twisted backwards somehow and we got lost,” Black said.

After walking through woods and water to try to find their way back, the sun began to go down. Black used cigarettes and a lighter to make a fire.

“We had to cuddle together, we were all in swimsuits … I don’t think I went to sleep, I just sat there and held them, trying to keep them warm,” Black said.

She says they heard vehicles looking for them, but none of them found the group until 11:30 Monday morning.

Monday the group found their way back to the spot they had started at, and Black’s daughter found a note from her dad.

“He put a note wait here and right about that time a helicopter started flying above and we just started waving our arms and they told us wait one minute, you’re okay,” Black said.

A Bay County Sheriff’s Office helicopter found the group. When they were reunited, Black says Brock, her daughter’s dad, said he was proud and that she did a good job.

After they were rescued, they went to McDonald’s in their grandpa’s truck.

“The people in the McDonald’s working, they were talking about the missing people and he’s like those were my granddaughters and they’re actually in the car, we found them,” Black said. “They gave us all free milkshakes and they were so happy to hear that we got found. It was really neat.”

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