WINTER SPRINGS – The Bloom family is just moments away from being reunited with 11-year-old Nadia Bloom.
The Winter Springs girl, who has been missing since Friday, was found this morning — on the fourth day of the search — in waist-deep water in the swampy area surrounding alligator-infested Lake Jesup.
Her parents, Tanya and Jeff Bloom, and Nadia's younger sister, Sophia, are waiting at the edge of the woods for Nadia.
Dan Holland, senior pastor at Metro Church in Winter Springs, identified James King as the "hero" who found Nadia alive.
"[King] woke up this morning and told the pastor, ‘I walked straight through the swamp and there she was,'" Holland said.
Winter Springs Police Chief Kevin Brunelle said Nadia was found in Zone 13 — an area that had not been cleared by the search teams. He said she is "doing well with bug bites and some dehydration."
Searchers now are having difficulty removing her because they are cutting through thick brush.
Once freed from the swamp, she will be coming out with King and other searchers.
"The important thing right now is to unite Nadia with her family," Brunelle said.
Her sister Sophia was seen holding a stuffed bear, while her father Jeff Bloom was holding a pair of shoes and some water for Nadia.
After she is reunited with her family, she will be taken to South Seminole Hospital for an evaluation.
As word spreads that Nadia has been found, the crowd gathering outside Metro Church is increasing.
At one point, about three dozen church members broke into song in the driveway in front of the church, singing "Shout Halleluiah."
"James said he was praying. He said he was praying in tongues, he was praying in spirits and he went right to her," Sandra Green said. Green is the wife of Metro Church pastor Randy Green.
Patricia Guobadia, a spokeswoman for the Blooms, said "our prayers have been answered…it's just celebration today."
Investigators think she had been in the vast conservation area around Lake Jesup. That lake is known as one of the most alligator-infested bodies of water in Central Florida.
Other children have been found several days after getting lost in similar dangerous environments
In May 2009, a 3-year-old was found alive after being lost for two days in Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. A massive search began after the boy had wandered away from home.
A 4-year-old girl was found crying in the woods in March more than 24 hours after she went missing near the California/Oregan border. She had spent the night in the woods where temperatures dipped into the 30s.
On Monday, authorities had scoured swampy woods, lakes and the gated Seminole County neighborhood of Barrington Estates for any clue to Nadia's whereabouts.