BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford wasn't yet a sheriff, but an FDLE agent, when he helped in a case 10 years ago that he says is one of the highlights of his career.
"October 31, 2009, when Sheriff Haddock called us and indicated that we had a child abduction and we spent the next five days frantically searching for baby Shannon," said Ford.
Shannon Dedrick, known as Baby Shannon, was just seven months old when she was kidnapped from her home in Washington County by her aunt and babysitter Susan Baker. Five days passed before officials caught a break in the case.
"They flung the door open and said 'We found her.' We had been searching the house for a couple of hours already, so it was just a real blessing to be able to find her," said Ford.
Retired Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock says he can still remember the moment when they found Baby Shannon on November 5, 2009.
"It was just four or five days later that we found her under a bed in a box that her aunt had taken her and placed her there," said Haddock.
Sheriff Ford and retired Sheriff Haddock both say they still keep in touch with Shannon, whose grandma adopted her.
"Sheriff Haddock described it best at our 2 a.m. press conference, where there were some grown men that were crying that night, and it was just a relief to have found her alive and to know that she's thriving and doing well today is just a blessing," said Ford.
For both men, this day is one they say will always stay with them.
"It was a sad day when we were called to the situation, that she was missing and was gone, but it was a good day when we found her," said Haddock.
It's been 10 years since many people received the happy ending they say they so desperately hoped for.
Susan Baker is still in prison where she is serving 25 years.
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