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BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - A Georgia mother is relieved to have found, and been able to thank in person, three teenagers she credits with saving her young daughter's life.
She said Corey Troupe, 16, of Paulding County, Ga., along with Josey Green and Niko Kleowdis, sprang into action when her daughter fell into a pond Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
April Gary Hill, of Cartersville, contacted WSB-TV in a desperate search for the mystery heroes she said rescued her daughter in an emergency, and then asked for nothing in return.
Hill said she took her three children, ages 1, 2, and 3, to a local park Tuesday evening, around 6 p.m.
The kids were feeding bread to the ducks and fish, as they often do at the park, she said.
Daniah Hill, 3, went to throw the last piece of bread into the pond, when her mother says she went through the rails and into the water.
“A body should not be able to go through the railing into the pond,” Hill said.
Hill said she was panicking, and started to scream for help.
She said her daughter was flopping and she was above the water.
“Out of nowhere, these three boys came up running,” she said. “One actually got in and got her.”
She said one of the boys jumped over the bridge and got her out. The two others were helping him, making something like a human chain over the railing to pull them both to safety.
She said the ordeal lasted no more than maybe 20 seconds, but felt like an eternity to her.
Hill said she was in a hurry to leave, and thanked the good Samaritans, but not enough.
“I didn’t even get his name,” Hill said. “I want to thank him. He doesn’t know how appreciated he is.”
She described the teens as being between ages 15 and 17, and said the one who jumped in after the child had shaggy blond hair.
“I know he has a sister, because he kept telling me that he understands and its OK,” Hill said.
On Tuesday, just hours after WSB-TV shared Hill's story, she said the mystery heroes had been identified.
She said several people saw the story on WSB-TV, including one of the boy's aunts, and put her in contact with them.
She said she quickly went to meet the boys at a nearby restaurant.
Daniah Hill was able to hug and thank Troupe, along with Green and Kleowdis, who also aided in her rescue.
Hill said she wanted to find them to show her appreciation, but also because her daughter kept mentioning them to everyone when talking about the scary experience.
"She says she opened her eyes in the water and saw big fish and little fish," Hill said. “She always says, ‘but the boy saved me.’”
“She will tell you ‘the boy saved me’,” Hill said. “We’re not the richest people at all, but I don’t mind paying him or showing him the recognition he deserves.”
Hill took Daniah Hill to the emergency room, where she stayed overnight. She got X-rays and was released Wednesday in good health, her mother said.
Hill said she is concerned about the railings at the park, and hopes they can be fixed to prevent this from happening to someone else.
“There are always a lot of kids and we go there all the time. They like it, but that could’ve taken my baby’s life,” Hill said.