Her family dead, toddler critical after being found alone in Indiana field

Story highlights

  • The girl's parents and 2 siblings died in the storm, a hospital official says
  • She remained in critical condition Saturday evening, he adds
  • The 20-month-old girl was found alone, without ID, in an Indiana field, authorities say
  • Authorities are also searching for a 9-year-old boy missing since the tornadoes hit

No one knew how the little girl ended up alone, in the Indiana field. Nor did they know who the toddler with blond hair and blue eyes was.

They did know that she needed help.

So the rush was on Friday to help the girl after she was found in Salem after devastating tornadoes struck the area, Clark County Sheriff's Department Maj. Chuck Adams said.

Adams said the 20-month-old was intubated, with a tube inserted into her throat to help her breathe.

She was taken first to Indiana's St. Vincent Salem Hospital before being flown about 35 miles southeast to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, according to Brian Rublein, a spokesman for Kosair.

"She is in critical condition," Rublein said Saturday night.

Rublein and Adams said that, since the girl was first located, someone had called to identify her. The hospital spokesman added Saturday that extended family members were then with the child.

    But her entire immediate family -- her parents, as well as 3-year-old brother and 2-month-old sister -- were killed in the storm, according to Rublein.

    Those wishing to help can do so through the hospital's website, www.kosairchildrens.com, by specifying they want their donation to be directed to the girl who lost her family in the storm.

    As uncertain as this toddler's fate was, the situation was likewise tenuous for a 9-year-old boy from Henryville, about 20 miles east of Salem.

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    Adams said that the boy's whereabouts have been unknown since twisters ravaged his Indiana town, destroying its high school, knocking down trees and tearing roofs off buildings.

    With lights knocked out throughout the region due to the potent storm, authorities were using thermal imaging and search dogs in an attempt to locate the boy, according to Adams.

    As of Saturday evening, authorities were reporting that at least 37 people had died as a result of the severe weather, including 18 in Kentucky and 14 in Indiana.