ROELAND PARK, Kan. — A Kansas woman is being praised for her helping a lost boy she saw wandering in a Walmart parking lot Friday afternoon.
Victoria Perez said she spotted the child during a quick trip to the store.
“Just pulling into Walmart real quick and seeing this little random boy walking across the parking lot looking lost,” Perez said. “Maternal instincts kicked in, like go, go get that kid.”
Perez said she was assisted by another woman to help communicate with the Spanish-speaking child who said he has only lived in the United States for a few weeks. The child said he didn’t know where he lived.
“We searched the parking lot, we searched the store, the bathrooms, everywhere couldn’t find anybody,” Perez said.
Perez stayed by his side until a Department of Children and Families Services worker arrived at the police station.
“Often times, these situations, we can pretty much find the parents within an hour. This one has been a little bit stressful because it’s been longer than that,” Officer Anthony Estrada said. “We drove around extensively to all apartment complexes in town to try to see if anything looks familiar, and he has not seen any. He is very confused.”
After four hours, the child was reunited with his parents, who came to the police station after seeing the child on the news.
Investigators learned the child was accidentally left at the store during a trip with his mother and grandmother.
“It happens. Fortunately, it wasn’t something that was tragic. I don’t think it was something that was malicious. I don’t think it was any criminal intent, but we are still going to do the right thing and follow up with the state officials,” Roeland Park Police Chief John Morris said. “It’s one of those things we do, and all of us working together that really makes a difference.”
The Department of Children and Families Services will be investigating the case.