Officers had been called in when the 2-year-old, who was barefoot and only lightly dressed, had wandered off from her home in Ljusdal, central Sweden.
“We immediately started an extensive search as it was deemed a serious case,” Paul Edenström of the Gävleborg county police told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
“We were on our way up with helicopters from Stockholm and we had dogs and all the available police resources at hand.”
The girl had walked off after playing with her sister in the back garden of the family’s country house.
She had managed to get almost three kilometres from the house by the time a nearby police car got one wheel stuck in a ditch, an incident that proved to be a lucky accident.
As the officers evacuated the car to try and push it free, they heard the 2-year-old crying nearby. They waded out in the waist-deep snow to collect her.
“She was frozen and sad, but she didn’t need any medical attention. The police took her directly home to her parents,” Edenström said.
“It was really comforting for everyone that we found her.”
Edenström added, however, that he thought the police helicopter would have had no trouble finding the toddler, as her red jacket was in such strong contrast to the snow.