- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

FULTON, Miss. (AP) - For 32 hours, 10-year-old Mikylah Blackburn was held hostage over a year ago by the man who authorities said killed her father. She has now been recognized for using her cellphone to communicate with officials, which a sheriff’s office in Mississippi said saved the lives to two deputies.

Blackburn, now 11, received a certificate of bravery, a police badge and other items Monday from the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Office, WTVA-TV reported.

In December 2018, Nathan Shepard killed the girl’s father, Paul Blackburn, then held the girl hostage, the sheriff’s office said. The girl used her phone to tell authorities what was going on in the house, including that Shepard had a gun.

“If you hadn’t have called dispatch and told the two people out there not to come in, he would have went in,” Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson said Monday, gesturing to a deputy.

A SWAT team entered the home and Shepard was killed, ending the standoff. Blackburn was rescued safely.

“I’m just thankful that they were there for me,” Blackburn said.

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