'They're angels in my eyes': Small town bands together to find 4 missing children

The Wilder children range from age 5 to 9


"They're angels in my eyes. I mean, I don't know what I'd done if they didn't find my babies," said grandmother Freda Jolly.

Freda Jolly experienced a grandmother’s worst nightmare. She stepped away from her four grandchildren to take a call. When she returned to join them in the back yard, they were gone.

"I screamed and I yelled and they always came running. And they never got out of the yard. They don't go past the garage, that's their limit," said Jolly.

The children, who range from ages 5 to 9, wandered into the woods.

"I was, like, trying to find help and I got lost. And when I came back down and the little ones was under a rock, cause they was cold," said 9-year-old Nathanal Wilder.

The siblings were accompanied by their dog, Buttercup, as they bunkered down in the cold.

"Very cold," said 7-year-old Maria Wilder.

"Freezing," said 6-year-old Ada-Bell Wilder.“We huddled together."

"There were owls out there and I saw something went that way through that little hole," said Maria Wilder.

Because of the extreme conditions, local authorities began searching immediately.

"They didn't even hesitate when I told them we had four young kids missing and the weather condition," said Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane Jr.

"So he was searching the area to the west and the north, which is, kind of, the Tenkiller Dam area from the residence. And he contacted me and said they had somebody flashing what looked like a flashlight at him," said Lane.

That flashing light came from Nathanal, who thankfully had a flashlight on him.

"It's a miracle that this little kid had the flashlight on them in the first place, and it ended up possibly saving their lives," said Lane.

Thanks to Nathanal’s light and the hundreds of people who searched, all four children were found 1 1/2 miles from home at the bottom of a cliff.

Within 12 hours, they were safely returned home in time for their grandmother’s birthday.

"The best, I got my babies, the best," said Jolly.