NORTH BLOOMFIELD, Ohio– The man who found missing Trumbull County toddler Rainn Peterson said he first expected the worst, but his fear turned to “total elation” when he discovered the 2-year-old was alive.
Vic Sutton, of North Bloomfield, was among hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement who joined in the two-day search for Rainn, who disappeared from her grandparents’ home Friday evening.
“I just was in the right place, but it could’ve been anybody, literally. I didn’t do anything special or unique,” Sutton told Fox 8 News reporter Matt Wright. “I just spotted her.”
Sutton said he never gave up hope that Rainn would be found alive.
“I always told my kids and the kids in the community that you never ever give up,” he said.
As the sun began to fade before 7 p.m. Sunday, Sutton hadn’t given up searching for Rainn. He said he was alone on his four wheeler, checking a field that didn’t have tracks indicating it had already been searched, about 1,000 feet off of Peck Leach Road, and about a half mile from Rainn’s grandparents’ home. Sutton said he first saw Rainn’s purple clothing among tall weeds, then her hair.
“I yelled her name and she lifted her head, and she turned her head and looked at me,” Sutton said. “I went from total despair to total elation in literally three seconds.”
Sutton said Rainn was covered in flies, with scratches on her arms and face, and she was missing a shoe.
“She was disoriented; grass was matted down where you could see she had been sleeping there for a while. Her clothes were dirty,” Sutton said.
“It was like holding my own baby,” he said. “I was hoping for it, and I was praying for it, and I was expecting it only because that’s what keeps you driving.”
Sutton said the North Bloomfield community is full of people willing to lend a hand, and he’s just glad he could help find baby Rainn. He said he couldn’t sleep knowing she was missing.
“I’m glad those folks have their baby back, and I hope she’ll grow up to do something very special with this life,” he said.
**Watch an extended portion of his interview below**
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