A Utah man was on his way to play a basketball game recently when he heard a little girl’s voice call out from a nearby playground.
Little did he know, the 4-year-old was in desperate need of his help.
Marcus King told KTSU that he was walking through his Ogden neighborhood when he heard the child, but “didn’t really think nothing of it” since it was a park — until he turned the corner and saw what she was wearing.
The 4-year-old was extremely under-dressed for the cold weather and wasn’t even wearing shoes, but “dragging her poor feet in the snow,” KTVX and CNN reported. He added she was only wearing “pajama bottoms.”
King immediately knew that he had to help her right away, he said:
“She didn’t have any jacket, no shoes, no parental supervision, and just took action then and took her inside.”
The man took the little girl to a nearby community center where staff contacted police. Authorities soon determined that the little girl had wandered away from her home across the street.
The little girl said she left when her mom wouldn’t pay attention to her because she was “sleeping” on the floor. King told Fox 13:
“When they walked over there, the door was wide open. And the way the little girl was explaining it was: Her mom wasn’t paying attention, and her mom was on the floor sleeping.”
Sadly, the mom wasn’t asleep.
By the time police found the mother, she had been dead for nearly 24 hours, likely due to complications from a health condition, said Lt. Tim Scott with Ogden Police. They found no signs of foul play.
The 4-year-old was briefly placed in the care of the Division of Child and Family Services, but has since been reunited with family, KSL reported.
In a Facebook post, Fox 13 reported, the late mother’s cousin wrote that they “praise God (she) was found safe.”
According to Save the Children Foundation, there are many ways parents can help teach their child how to react during an emergency.
One of the most important is keeping an updated list of emergency contacts for them and showing them how to recognize an emergency situation. But most importantly, parents should plan ahead.
That way, emergency situations don’t go from bad to worse.
Luckily in this case, King was there to help the distressed little girl. But he says he’s just happy he got to her and “nobody else” with bad intentions did.
As he told KSL:
“I was a little torn up by it,” King said. “Having to find a little girl out in the snow like that.”
Watch coverage of the story below: