The man who rescued an 11-year-old girl lost in a dense Florida swamp said Wednesday that God led him directly to her, and that finding her was no surprise.
James King said he set out on his own to look for Nadia Bloom on Tuesday, trusting that he was going in the right direction even when that meant through water or dense brush.
“I was expecting to hear her voice,” King told CNN. “So I’m yelling, ‘Nadia!’ and at one point, I yell, ‘Nadia!’ and I hear ‘What?’ And I said that way — right there.”
King said he was surprised by the good shape Nadia was in. She had been missing since Friday, and though shoeless and covered in insect bites, she was in otherwise good condition, he said.
“She was not panicked. She looked like she had been sitting there, waiting on me,” he said.
The two of them then stayed in the swamp, near Lake Jesup in central Florida, while King called authorities. When he got hold of a 911 dispatcher, he put Nadia on the phone.
“Hi. This is Nadia. I’m the girl who got lost,” came the little girl’s voice.
The swamp was so dense, King said, that the rescuers who carried Nadia out on a black cloth stretcher Tuesday had to use machetes to cut through the brush, bushes and trees.
“I see it as an answer to a lot of people’s prayer,” King told CNN. “I’m just very thankful, I’m thankful that God used me as a part of it to be able to find her. It’s definitely a miracle.
“I didn’t know where she was. The only person who knew where she was was God, and I asked him, and he led me directly to her, straight — well, as straight as you can go through the swamp.”
King said he prayed the whole time he was searching, even when it seemed like he was going in the wrong direction. In one case, he said, there was water all around and he didn’t know where to go.
“He said, ‘Go that way.’ And I’m looking at water. I said, ‘Lord, are you sure?’ He said. ‘I got ya.’ And as soon as I start walking, the ground under the water is solid. It’s only about a foot and a half deep. He took care of me all the way there.”