"She looked scared and lost to the world."
A little girl walks three tenths of a mile away from her daycare before being rescued by a stranger.
You pay them to watch and protect your kids while you're away, but one little girl managed to escape their eyes...and wander towards a dangerous road.
A sign on the front door of A Child's World daycare reads, 'Monitored By Closed Circuit TV'...so where was the person who was supposed to be watching those doors when the four-year-old walked away?
"All you can think of is someone stopping and getting her. You know, five years ago we had a little boy kidnapped by a pedophile and killed," says Patricia Woods, who found the child. "All you could think was someone swooping up this child."
The thought alone was enough to make the grandmother of six come to the little girl's rescue.
"You don't see that, that small of a child walking down Martintown Road," Pat says. "Sad, oh so sad...the cars and trucks going down Martintown Road...zip, zip, zip...she was just on the sidewalk...so close."
Too close for comfort, especially for a four-year-old.
"We asked her where she was going. She said, 'I'm going home'," says Pat. "'Where are you coming from?' 'Daycare.'"
When News 12 showed up at the daycare with questions, they were quick to shut the door.
Daycare workers rushed the kids behind closed doors.
All that was left were empty swing sets left to sway in the wind...abandoned after we showed up with a camera.
To give you an idea of how far the four-year-old had walked, we clocked it in our jeep, and it's about 3/10 of a mile. The question is, how long had she been gone before the daycare even realized she was missing?
"It was long enough they noticed she was gone..."
When Pat called public safety, dispatchers already knew exactly who she was talking about.
"They'd already called from daycare and said she was missing, and police came and got her," Pat says. "Everybody makes errors, but a 4-year-old child on Martintown Road..."
No word yet on whether the daycare will have any charges filed against them, but an incident report was taken.
It's important to look carefully when choosing a daycare.
Start with the cleanliness and safety of the building.
Ask the staff questions, and check their qualifications.
Parents should have unlimited access at the daycare center, and should be encouraged to take part in activities.
Any complaints or concerns that you have about the childcare facility should be discussed with the facility director, and any allegations of abuse or neglect should be directed to the child protective services in your area.
That number is 803-989-7318 for South Carolina, and 866-351-0001 for Georgia.
Is the building clean and safe?
Is the staff well-qualified?
Do parents have open access to their children?
SC Child Protective Services: (803) 989-7318
GA DFACS: (866) 351-0001