Parents upset when bus company unexpectedly picks up Raymore-Peculiar students in unmarked van

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PECULIAR, Mo. -- Stranger danger is something parents and teachers make sure to talk to their kids about, and that's why what happened Monday in the Raymore-Peculiar School District is so upsetting to parents of kids picked up by Apple Bus in an unmarked van.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien spoke with one of the concerned parents.

"It is every parents worst nightmare to think their child is going to get kidnapped and I lived it yesterday," said Holly Buzzard. Holly's daughter Belle was one of the kids who rode in the van.

It was a normal school morning at the Buzzard's house. Holly getting ready for the day, her 9-year-old daughter Belle waiting for the school bus.

"I was outside playing in the snow and so I just saw this weird blue van come up to our mailbox and I am like, I have never seen that van in my life," Belle said. "Cause I didn't know if they were going to try and kidnap me or what was going on."

So Belle started running towards the house until she heard a familiar voice shouting at her.

"'It's me, it's just the bus driver. The bus broke down.' All of my friends were on there, and I am like, 'okay, it's not a kidnapper,'" Belle recalled.

"I open the door and she is standing at the end of the driveway and there is this random blue van there and I was like, 'Belle, Belle!' and she didn't hear me and I just took off running and by that time she was already in the van," Holly said.

Not knowing what was going on, Holly took off running in her pajamas and bare feet. When she got there the doors were locked, but she was eventually able to grab her daughter out of the unmarked blue van. The bus driver tried to explain that the regular bus had broken down, but by that time it didn't really matter.

"You get to see how quickly it happened, how quickly the thing that means the most to you can be taken away from you," Holly said. "It's just very real and unbelievably scary."

Holly said none of the other parents knew about the change.

"Not one person knew that something other than the big yellow school bus that we are all used to was coming to get their child," she explained.

Holly says that she did get an email from the Raymore-Peculiar school district that buses were running late, but nowhere in it did it mention anything about a blue van picking up the children.

"I just hope they realize how scary that was and how unacceptable it was," Holly said.

Police say to never, ever, ever be afraid to call 911 if you even suspect stranger danger.

The Apple Bus Company has not replied to FOX 4's request for comment, but the Raymore-Peculiar school district is aware of the incident and issued this statement:

"We've been assured that, in the future, if a substitute vehicle is necessary, Apple Bus Company will use marked vehicles to pick up students."