BETHANY, Okla. - A 5-year-old child with autism is safe after she was found wandering the streets in the dark in northwest Oklahoma City.
Police said the little girl showed up to a 7-Eleven, near N.W. 16th & Rockwell, wearing pajamas and a jacket but no shoes.
Thankfully, a shopper noticed something was wrong and called police.
"We always walk up for little goodies, snacks, donuts, her little chips, teddy grams," said Tanya Kyker.
Kyker said her daughter has autism and often sleep walks.
Kyker said times are tough right now, so they’re staying at a friend’s place temporarily.
She had asked her friends to watch her two children while she went to play pool.
She got home around 1:30 a.m. and assumed the kids were sleeping in a nearby room.
Just 30 minutes later, she awoke to her frantic friend.
“'Get up. Your little girl isn’t here. Don’t call the police,'” Kyker said. "I can't believe she lost my little girl. I trusted her, and she's a very nice person, but that scared the lights out of me.”
The mom went searching for her daughter and, around 6:30 a.m., ended up at the 7-Eleven, a place that is familiar to her little girl.
By the time Kyker arrived, a good Samaritan had already found the little girl, and police were busy trying to figure out where her parents were.
"I think it was very fortunate that the right citizen saw her and decided to call police and keep her warm," said Lt. Jeff Sprull with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Once the mom learned what happened and that her 5-year-old was safe, officers took Kyker to her daughter.
Police said the girl was in high spirits throughout the close call.
"When we talked to her, she was very alert, very happy. She was hugging on all of the officers and playing games on our cell phones," Sprull said.
Kyker is grateful to the person who cared for her baby in a time of crisis.
"I thank her so much. She is a blessing, and I really thank you a lot for rescuing her, because anybody could've kidnapped or hurt her. Thank you for whoever rescued my daughter," Kyker said.
Police recommend having an alarm system or installing dead bolts to prevent something like this from happening.