20th Anniversary of Baby Jessica's Fall

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Twenty years ago Sunday, rescuers showed up to a Midland backyard to find an 18 month old stuck inside an eight inch pipe.

"It was all over the news, every station," said Lia Watson, who lived in Phoenix at the time.

"Everyone was pulling for her, and everyone was wishing her the best, and trying to get her out of there," said Dennis Melton, a Midlander who was only eleven at the time.

"I just remember that we all pulled together, and where praying for her, and hoping that she made it through it," said Mary Autry.

Hundreds of rescuers spent fifty eight hours huddled by the hole, as crews drilled to get the girl out and people all over the country watched on their TV sets.

"She wasn't making any noise what so ever, I think she was just so scared, she couldn't even utter a sound," said Mike Butler who worked for the city, and was on the scene twenty years ago.

"We couldn't see anything, we could hear some noise down there, we started the rescue operation at that time. We called the fire department, and put our heads together to figure out a way to rescue her," he said.

After three agonizing days and nonstop drilling cheers, baby Jessica McClure was out.

"I remember it was long, and it was a lot of work trying to get things organized, coordinated, and we were fortunate that Midland had turned out such tremendous response, to assist in the rescue," said Butler.