Jocelyn Lewis sparked an enormous search on Queensland’s Gold Coast after she wandered away from her family’s home on Sunday night. Now, the five-year-old has revealed what she got up to during those 22 hours.
According to her father, Steve Lewis, Jocelyn said she was “looking after three tigers” on the bank of the Worongary swap near where she was ultimately found, reports The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“She said she was following a bear and looking after three tigers,” he said.
“We actually found a book in her room along those lines, so she’s gotten the idea somewhere. The only other thing she said was that she crawled through a big grate, which I assume was a drain.”
Jocelyn vanished at around 4pm on Sunday afternoon, leading police to issue an amber alert – an urgent broadcast reserved for ‘high-risk’ missing children.
More than 150 SES volunteers, emergency service workers and local residents searched for the young girl, who was ultimately found by two women at 3pm the following day.
Wearing just a t-shirt and shorts when she disappeared, Jocelyn told the newspaper that she had looked for sticks to make a fire to keep herself warm, but “couldn’t see any with all that long grass in the way”.
She survived the ordeal with little more than scratches and bruises.
Steve Lewis said it was the fourth time Jocelyn, who was diagnosed with ADHD in December, had run away from home in the past month.
Mr Lewis even ordered a GPS watch for the little girl, which unfortunately didn’t arrive in time to prevent the latest incident.
“Her personality is a blessing and a curse at the same time,” he told The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“She’s just got a wild imagination and I don’t think she really understands what has happened.
“We are going to sit her down properly with the police in the next few days to try and drill it into her that this can’t happen again.”
After that, Mr Lewis said he would sign her up for little athletics to harness her energy and satisfy her love for ‘running’.
“She’s really fast and she’ll be great at it,” he said.
“It’ll be a lot less worrying for me as well.”
Feature image: Screenshot/ABC News 24