You don’t expect to see many people wandering around in the early hours of the morning. And you especially don’t expect to see a little girl strolling around all alone with seemingly no idea where she is or where she’s going. But on the day before Halloween in 2017, this was just what was happening on the streets of Plano, Texas.
Yes, a four-year-old girl was found roaming around on her own near an apartment complex. And those who saw the little girl, who apparently had no parent in sight, couldn’t help but be worried.
Yet, seemingly unaware of any potential danger that she might have been in, the little girl did not appear to show any signs of distress. But when a four-year-old is found in such a situation there are questions that need to be asked.
Just before 6:00 a.m. on October 30, 2017, a resident of the complex discovered the girl drifting around in the area near the junction of Legacy Drive and Chase Oaks Boulevard. Clearly concerned for her well-being, they decided to call the authorities.
Once the police reached the scene they set about getting to the bottom of the matter. It was important to establish who she was and where her parents were – and whether they were close by. Indeed, the authorities needed to learn as much as possible about the girl in order to help her.
Plano police spokesman David Tilley later recounted what the girl had said. She had told the authorities that her name was Kimber. And she was also able to tell them her age – something that highlighted just how vulnerable she was.
Tilley told reporters that the little girl was then taken to a child advocacy center run by Child Protective Services. There, Kimber would have seen a specialist trained to interview her in such a way as to minimize the risk of distress. And although the girl seemed at ease, there was an element to this case that remained alarming.
That was the fact that the little girl was actually wearing makeup. And when a child is found alone and wearing smudged pink lipstick, it naturally sets alarm bells ringing.
News soon reached those who lived in the apartment complex that a young girl had been found and taken to safety by the authorities. One bystander, Mary Gunn, told reporters she had only one question. “Where are her parents?” she asked.
Gunn wasn’t the only one who reacted to the story in this way, though. Indeed, several other local residents expressed the same concern. One man who spoke to reporters noted, “It could have ended terrible.”
Dianna Bryan, a mom herself, commented, “It’s hard not to jump to conclusions as a mom. At the same time, I can’t imagine anything good on this side of it. I hope that whatever has happened ends up being something freaky-weird and everything’s okay.”
Now that Kimber was safe and off the streets, the police’s main concern was finding her parents or a guardian. Indeed, their focus switched to coming up with ways to track down anyone who could help.
The authorities decided to reach out on the internet to try and find Kimber’s parents or anyone who might have information about the girl and why she was left on her own. In fact, they turned to Twitter in a bid to trace her family.
Thankfully, the police were soon able to report that the girl’s family had been tracked down. They subsequently tweeted a further update confirming that Kimber had been reunited with her family. They also thanked everyone who had helped by passing on information.
By this point, the police seemed to have a pretty clear picture of what had happened. It transpired that Kimber was spending the night with her grandfather, who lived in the apartment complex. The little girl had woken up early and left the apartment and wandered outside, all without disturbing her grandfather.
It was then that residents in the complex had spotted the young girl walking around – and they were understandably concerned. As they didn’t recognize her, they decided to call the authorities to ensure that the girl didn’t get into any trouble.
The police then called upon residents of the complex to spread the message that a young girl had been found. This helped them to quickly locate the girl’s family, but it also led some in the community to recall the story of another child from Texas: three-year-old Sherin Mathews.
Speaking to reporters about Mathews, local resident Mary Gunn said, “Something badly happened not very long ago with a little one that was three, I think, and she was found in a culvert, and she was not amongst the living anymore and that broke my heart.”
Officer Tilley also noted that Kimber’s story was not unique and that the police had come across cases before of children drifting off in the night. “It’s not uncommon for children to wander out of the home while the parents are sleeping,” he said. “When they wake up, they will typically call us.”
After the reunion, detectives continued to investigate to confirm that Kimber had indeed wandered off on her own accord. They questioned the little girl’s family, but it’s not yet known whether her parents will face any further action. For now, everyone is just relieved that a potentially sinister situation turned out to have a simple explanation.