When Jake Manna heard that a little girl was missing, he immediately stopped working and joined the search party.
Jake was installing solar panels on a home in Plymouth, Massachusetts when a 5-year-old child went missing. The girl has autism and is nonspeaking, and authorities worried she might have wandered into the marshy river near her Buttermilk Bay neighborhood.
Jake didn’t think twice about setting down his tools to look for the child. He headed down a rural trail by himself, keeping his eyes peeled for any signs of her. The trail ended at a stream, and Jake’s heart dropped when he spotted a child-sized t-shirt and a diaper floating in the water. He started to run, frantically calling out as he waded into waist-deep water.
Suddenly, he saw her. The child was walking away from him, directly into deeper water that would be over her head. Jake called upon his former lifeguard training, bolting towards her and picking her up. He put the child over his shoulder and carried her back down the trail to safety.
The child’s mother immediately grabbed her and fell to her knees in relief. She couldn’t thank Jake enough!
The little girl’s mom wasn’t the only person grateful for Jake’s assistance. Chief Dana Flynn and Capt. James LeBretton of the Plymouth Police Department presented Jake with a certificate and Command Coin to show their appreciation for his life-saving efforts. They’ve since called him “the nicest, most unassuming young man that one could meet.”
They also stressed that because Jake isn’t from Plymouth, he isn’t familiar with the area at all — he just happened to pick the right trail that lead him straight to the missing girl.
“If he didn’t pick that path and see the missing clothing, we hate to think about what the outcome would have been,” the police department shared on Facebook.
Officer Roth agreed, adding, “That girl had a guardian angel yesterday… and his name was Jake.”
Jake insists he’s not a hero and says, “anyone would do the same,” but we know a hero when we see one. Thank you, Jake, for saving this little girl’s life!
Don’t forget to share this story to thank Jake for joining in on the search!
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