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Image: Victoria Bensch
Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
Victoria Bensch, 3, disappeared and went missing overnight before she was spotted Friday morning by searchers in a helicopter, authorities say.
updated 2/22/2010 1:06:18 PM ET 2010-02-22T18:06:18

A family dog is credited with keeping a little girl safe after she spent the overnight hours Friday in 30-degree temperatures near Cordes Lakes, 36 miles east of Prescott.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn credits the dog, a Queensland Heeler, with 3-year-old Victoria Bensch's survival.

A Department of Public Safety helicopter crew saw movement and found the little girl and her dog just before 9 a.m. Friday, three-quarters of a mile from her home.

D'Evelyn said the DPS crew landed and then flew the child back to be reunited her mother and father.

The child was then flown to Phoenix Children's Hospital, where she will be treated for frostbite.

Authorities said the little girl was outside playing early Thursday evening when she disappeared along with her dog.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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