CHIPLEY – It's been nearly five years since the eyes of the nation were fixed on Chipley, watching as the search for 7-month old Shannon Dedrick unfolded.
The conclusion was a rare happy ending, with Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock reporting “Baby Shannon”, as she became known worldwide, had been found.
“We are the proud papas of a baby girl,” Haddock said in a national press conference. “There were a lot of grown men crying and shedding tears. Percentage-wise, we usually don't get this kind of ending.”
But Baby Shannon's story had just begun.
Now living with a family member in another state, she celebrated her fifth birthday while in Chipley Thursday, surrounded by her newly adoptive mother and the men and women who came to know her as their own. Law enforcement “family” who helped celebrate included Sheriff Haddock and Investigator Kenny Brock, who discovered Shannon hidden in a 2x3 locked cedar box in culmination of a search that took a total of four thousand man-hours and the involvement of numerous local, state and federal agencies.
The friendly, chatty five-year old enthusiastically played with her birthday gifts, showing no signs of her ordeal.
For full story and more, read the March 22 edition of the Washington County News.