Thermal imaging shows child’s dramatic rescue

Thermal imaging rescue (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – When a 3-year-old was abandoned in the woods by a car chase suspect early Saturday morning, IMPD used a life-saving technology to find the child.

Even with no sound, the black and white video is compelling.  In the dead of night, a squad of IMPD officers, white dots on a screen, searched for a 3-year old child, left to fend for himself in the woods off Kentucky Avenue.

“Time is of the essence. Every second, every minute counts,” said IMPD Patrol Officer, Matthew Woodings.

From the sky, the aviation team guides the officers to a smaller dot: the child.

The union, as vague as it may be, is captivating.

“(I) got awoken at about 3:15 a.m. with this call out for service. They had advised that children were involved. It kind of amps you up and wakes you up pretty quickly,” said IMPD Patrolman Pilot, Scott Bishop.

There was no light to lead them, no voice calling out, but there was heat radiating from bodies that was detectable by thermal imaging technology.

“It detects heat and creates an image. It is a passive, non-obtrusive device. This device cannot see into walls, it doesn’t see through glass,” said Woodings.

But from a helicopter, it can see into the woods and early Saturday morning it saw what officers were hoping it would: a three-year old child, abandoned for hours by a suspect after a car chase.

Officers said the child was shook up and said he was hungry. What the little boy didn’t know is that he was very lost and thanks to an eye in the sky, and some very determined officers, he was saved.

“You have an incident or a run, like we took on Saturday morning, where a life was saved because of the aviation’s involvement in the law enforcement mission,” said Bishop.

The man police say led them on that chase is 29-year old Ryan Ogden who is facing charges of resisting law enforcement and child endangerment.

Police say two children originally in his SUV were taken to a hospital then released into the care of their mother. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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