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'The most I've cried in 20 years' - Parents emotional after safe return of their daughters

The parents of the missing girls and dog had their prayers answered when all three returned home safely.

FOLSOM, La. — Back on their porch, Abigail Bourg, 7, and her sister Cecilia,4, spent Tuesday lounging around. For their parents, Justin and Mary, it’s more than just a Tuesday. 

“Being able to just take a day with the girls and kind of recenter on what’s important,” Justin Bourg said.

What’s important is their family is back together. 

Monday evening, while playing in their yard on N. Willie Road near Folsom, these sisters with an adventurous spirit wandered off into the woods with their golden retriever Artemis and got lost.  

“I had the worst thoughts. I just didn’t let those thoughts stick around very long because I couldn’t handle that,” Mary Bourg said.

These parents could only watch as multiple agencies used a helicopter, drones, K-9s, and ATVs to try and find the girls. Daylight started to fade. Worry set in.

“Originally, I was very confident we were going to find them in the woods. That’s their favorite place to go play but once hour three, three and a half was kind of creeping up on us on the clock I was getting more dark thoughts,” Justin Bourg said.

They leaned hard on their faith. Then, after about four hours, the girls and Artemis were found and reunited with mom and dad.

“So much relief, so much weight lifted,” Mary Bourg said.

“That’s the most I’ve cried in 20 years,” Justin Bourg said.

Dad estimates the girls were three to four hundred yards away from home.

“[Searchers] mentioned something about a pond that they were kind of close to and there’s one behind us, so that’s kind of where I’m assuming they ended up,” Justin Bourg said.

Abigail says when she realized they were lost, she and her sister just sat down and played games.  

“Abigail was laying on top of Artemis holding his collar and just snuggled up with him and CC (Cecilia) was laying with her head on Abigail’s stomach, and they were just kind of dug in for the night," Justin Bourg said.

Mom and dad don’t know how the girls knew to stay put.

“My best explanation is Jesus just kind of took the reins and gave them some peace and direction,” Justin Bourg said.

The direction also came with protection from Artemis. His barking helped searchers find the girls.  

“When people found them, he was growling,” Mary Bourgh said. “I don’t know how long it took for the people to be able to actually get access to the kids because he was protecting them.”

The Bourgs say they’re overwhelmed with how many people showed up to search or help. Many of them are strangers, now connected by two little girls and a dog.

“There was just nothing people would stop at until our babies were found so we’re just more than grateful,” Mary Bourg said.

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