After a girl went “missing” for hours, police are reminding parents to talk to each other about where their kids are.
It turns out the girl had left one friend’s home to go to the home of another — unknown to her worried mother.
“Police definitely had a concern for the lack of communication between the parents,” Brandon Police Service Staff Sgt. Mike Pelechaty said.
The girl’s mother called police around 10 p.m. on Monday to report her daughter missing.
The girl had gone to the home of another to play and hadn’t returned. The mom contacted the playmate’s parents and was told that their daughter had returned to their home, but hers hadn’t.
The missing girl was last seen at or near the 1500-block of Stickney Avenue, and may have been missing since as early as 7 p.m.
The young age of the girl, the time of night, a temperature that dipped below freezing and the length of time she’d been unaccounted for were causes for concern.
“Seven years old, 10 o’clock at night, she had left a friend’s house — there was a concern for her safety,” Pelechaty said.
Members of the Criminal Investigation Unit were called to help patrol officers with a search that included knocking door-to-door. In total, eight officers were involved in the search.
Police also issued a media bulletin with a description of the girl and asked the public for help finding her.
It was the door-to-door search that found the girl safe, two blocks away from her own home. She was found around 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, at the Stickney Avenue home of another friend where she’d gone to sleep.
“It appears that this girl walked home and decided to stop at her friend’s house and stayed there and decided she was going to sleep there,” Pelechaty said. “That’s where she stayed until the cops came knocking.”
It appears the parents of the friend were aware the girl was at their home, but hadn’t contacted her mom to let her know where she was.
Pelechaty said it’s important for parents to be aware of where their children are at all times, and for parents to communicate about where children are.
The parents of any visiting child should receive a phone call to ensure they know where their child is, Pelechaty suggested.
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