ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A mom says her daughter went missing from an Abilene ISD elementary school and was later found by strangers more than a mile away.
Leece Denaee says she showed up at Ortiz Elementary School on Vogel Avenue around 2:00 p.m. August 23 – a little early for pickup, which begins around 3:15 p.m., so she waited.
Around 3:30 p.m., she had moved through the line and had not seen her daughter, so she asked a staff member what happened, and they told her that her daughter had already been picked up.
Denaee says that she was the only one authorized to pick up her daughter, so she went up to the front doors of the school and talked to another school employee, who checked their system and told her that her daughter did get into a car with someone, according to their app.
School officials then tried to track down what happened to Denaee’s daughter, checking their camera footage, which Denaee says she never got to see.
The school never told exactly what happened, and Denaee went to start calling people to see if anyone had seen her daughter.
When she went outside the school, she says she noticied an officer, and when she went to inform him of what happened, he told her a couple had found her daughter outside of Ambler Bingo, which is 1.1 miles from Ortiz Elementary.
Denaee then went with the officer and a school staff member to get her daughter, and she says she is very grateful for the strangers who kept her safe.
Abilene ISD confirmed the district is aware of the situation and has made changes to prevent it from happening again.
Their full statement reads as follows:
The district is aware of the situation in question that occurred on August 23. Campus administrators have already directly addressed these concerns with the parent and further improved drop-off and pick-up procedures for student safety. District and campus administrators will continue to work proactively with our parents and families to address their concerns.
KTAB and KRBC have reached out to the Abilene Police Department as well but as of 4:00 p.m. Friday, no response has been received.
BigCountryHomepage will update this article if additional information is released.