Father talks about "Baby Jessica's" dramatic rescue 26 years ago - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Father talks about "Baby Jessica's" dramatic rescue 26 years ago

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Smith County (KYTX) -- You may have been one of the millions who watched an incredible story unfold 26 years ago about a baby trapped in a well. It's one with a happy ending, and today the father of that child is saying "thank you" to law enforcement officers.

"You guys don't get recognized enough, everyday you're putting your lives on the line," Chip McClure, father of Jessica McClure, said.

Rewind to 1987, when his 18-month-old daughter fell down an abandoned water well in Midland while at her aunt's house. Police officers, fire fighters, and sheriff's deputies all rushed to the emergency that quickly made national headlines.

"The fire department was ultimately in charge, and you know there was no playbook for something like that," McClure said.

The dad says he refused to believe his little girl was trapped in the well 22-feet deep, until a rescue worker proved it.

"He just took his headphones and put them on my ear, and I could hear her crying. And then I knew it was real," McClure said.

Crews had a hard time drilling through rock to get to Jessica, until they finally used a high- pressure water drill. Today Jessica is Jessica Morales, married with two children of her own.

 "She moved back to Midland. It's home, she loves it out there," McClure said.

Chip lives in Tyler and says to this day he keeps in touch with those who helped save Jessica. He calls them friends. Today he spoke to Smith County's finest in uniform to let them know their work is valued.

McClure is also working on a book detailing Jessica's rescue.

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