When her daughter doesn't arrive home on time, a mother calls her phone. She hears an unknown man's voice on the other end telling her he found the phone on the ground.
The woman shared that she worked full-time while her husband was a stay-at-home-dad, resuming part-time work. They decided to buy their daughter a phone to communicate with them while walking to school alone.
The couple's fears came true when their daughter didn't arrive home on time. They tracked her phone through the Family Link app and found that it was still in school. However, an unknown man answered it when they called.
The woman with the Reddit username cheakios512 shared that her daughter's school was two blocks away from their house. Since the father decided to work part-time, they allowed their daughter to walk to school alone.
However, they strictly advised her on what to do and what not when they weren't around, trying to make their daughter more independent.
It had been four weeks since they had allowed their daughter to commute to school on her own, and nothing wrong had happened until the day she didn't receive their call.
Their daughter walked to school alone | Source: Pexels
One day, the woman was working late at the office while her husband had reached home from his workplace. At 5 p.m., she received a message from him stating that their daughter still hadn't returned home.
They noticed that another woman was also looking for her child.
He informed her that he had given their daughter permission to go to the school park with her friend after finishing her homework. When he called her, there was no answer, so he asked his wife to trace her on the Family Link app.
She received a call from her husband while working in the office | Source: Pexels
"The app showed her phone was at the school, I called it, and a man answered it," she recalled. Shocked, the woman asked him who he was. He replied that he found the phone on the ground in the school park. OP (Original Poster) explained:
"He was at the school park with his kid, they were the only people there."
She told her coworkers that her child was missing and rushed out of the office. With a million scenarios playing in her mind, she drove straight to the school, wondering where her beloved daughter could be.
She drove to her daughter's school | Source: Pexels
Meanwhile, her husband also reached the school. They noticed that another woman was looking for her child too. She was the mother of the girl OP's daughter was playing with in the park. OP explained:
"The location where her phone was found, at the corner of the school grounds near an intersection, made everyone think the worst - that the girls had been snatched."
Since two children were missing from the school, the police immediately arrived. They went through the security camera footage, but none of the cameras captured the girls.
The police had arrived | Source: Pexels
Meanwhile, their daughter's sister rushed to the school in tears. Along with other staff members, they sat in cars in pairs and drove through the neighborhood looking for the girls.
On the other hand, OP's husband knocked on the neighbors' doors and asked them if he could go through their security camera footage. He ran between the school and the houses, trying his best to look for their daughter.
Leaving her husband at the school, OP went home to see if her daughter had arrived. Strange thoughts struck her as she waited there, so she thought of deep cleaning the house to divert her attention until she received a phone call.
She deep cleaned the house to divert her attention | Source: Pexels
The other girl's mother called to tell her that she had found her daughter. However, OP's daughter was still missing, and the girl had no idea where she was. OP recalled:
"The last her kid saw of ours was her walking towards home, alone, in the dark, in a neighborhood where walking alone after dark is not the best idea."
Twenty minutes later, OP received a phone call from the school counselor, informing her that they had found her daughter. OP was relieved. She immediately rushed to the school to ask her daughter what happened.
She received a phone call from the school | Source: Unsplash
The girl explained that she had kept her phone on the ground while playing in the park. Then her friend asked her to walk to the nearby grocery store with her, but she refused, saying that her father had instructed her not to go anywhere else.
However, her friend insisted so she gave in to the peer pressure and walked to the store with her. It was dark when they came out of the store, and her friend was complaining about her legs hurting. The girl told her to walk fast so they could reach home quickly.
On the way, when they decided to part ways towards their respective houses, OP's daughter took the wrong turn and ended up in a dark and unknown neighborhood. She started crying when she realized she was lost.
She was lost in an unknown neighborhood | Source: Unsplash
The girl finally reached an intersection that she recognized, half a block away from her house. She started walking towards her home when she noticed a car was following her. OP explained:
"She said she was super wary of the random car pulling up to her and was ready to run off in the opposite direction like we had talked about."
But the girl stopped when she realized they were people from her school looking for her. OP confessed that the experience taught her daughter a lesson she would remember forever.
A car was following her | Source: Unsplash
The woman posted the story on Reddit, expressing how awful it felt not knowing where her child was. She wondered how her own parents would have traced her in the past if she had gotten lost since there was no technology at the time. In reply to her post, mrsrariden said:
"I was so tensed up just reading this."
She asked OP to make her daughter realize how going to the grocery store started a chain reaction of events that could have worsened. She also advised OP to make her daughter thank all the people involved in tracing her.
Other Redditors shared their views | Source: Unsplash
"I sure hope so. I told her this morning that I need at least 5 years before she pulls another stunt like this."
Other readers confessed they felt anxious while reading the post. Some also said they skipped the post to the part where OP had found her daughter.
They confessed feeling anxious while reading the post | Source: Unsplash
Questions to Ponder:
Do you think OP and her husband made the right decision by sending their 10-year-old to school alone?
OP and her husband decided to make their daughter walk to and from school since both were working and wanted to make their daughter feel independent. They believed giving her a mobile phone would help them keep track of her. However, things didn't go as planned, and their daughter went missing. Do you think they should have waited a few more years before deciding to send her to school alone?
Do you think OP and her husband should find another way to ensure their daughter's safety?
Relying on the phone isn't enough for OP and her husband. Some people might agree they could invest in a smartwatch or a chip that could be attached to their daughter's clothes. It would help them know where she is at all times. What do you think?
If you enjoyed reading this story, you might like this one about a child who took the wrong bus and realized he was stranded when he bumped into a stranger.
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