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Missing girl, 11, found at campground near Fantasy Island

An 11-year-old girl who wandered away from her Lackawanna church group during an outing at Martin’s Fantasy Island amusement park on Grand Island was found unharmed about 8 p.m. Thursday at a campground near the park.

Deputies from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office were joined by Grand Island firefighters, State Police, park employees and emergency personnel in a large-scale search for Willow Sobaszek after she was reported missing at about 6 p.m.

The park closed down early – about 7:30 p.m. – so the entire park staff could join in the search. Vehicles leaving the park grounds were being searched until sheriff’s personnel located her at the nearby campground. The sheriff’s helicopter also joined in the search.

“She seems to be in good shape but, of course, she is a little shaken about all the excitement,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott E. Zylka. The girl underwent an examination by emergency medical personnel, and she was questioned by investigators, but she appeared healthy, Zylka said.

When she was found, Willow reportedly was carrying a backpack with a change of clothes and a tie-dye swimsuit.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com