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Scott City, MO

Child Wanders Away from Daycare

Child Wanders Away from Daycare
By: CJ Cassidy

SCOTT CITY, MO --What would you do if your child disappeared from daycare?  A 27-year old Scott City woman found out the hard way, when she got a disturbing call at work.  Her 4-year old was nowhere to be found.

His mother says Jake wandered off, but thanks to a good Samaritan, he's now safe at home.

Still Kim Phillips wants folks to understand this could happen to anyone with small children, and hopes you learn from her painful experience.

"I was devastated. As a parent, that's one of the scariest moments a parent can encounter," Phillips says.

The young mom says her boys are her life, so when she found out her youngest was missing from his daycare, she panicked.

"I know that's typical for four year olds, but it was very scary," she says.

She adds: "They sent him inside to go potty, he walked out the front door they couldn't find him."

But someone else did.

"Thankfully it was a great person who picked him up and took him to a safe place," Phillips says.

Police say a driver came across little Jake wandering around about a block away from his daycare and took him to the police department. It only took minutes, but considering Main Street is one of Scott City's busiest roads, his mother calls it a narrow escape

"He could have been dead, he could have been taken," she says.

Police Chief Don Cobb says this is the first time they've ever had any complaints against the daycare, and says providers are making sure it never happens again.

"They put a door chime on the front door, and he's a smart little guy too - he pushed a chair by the gate, reached over the top of gate, and undid the lock on the outside. They've since moved that lock down lower, so you have to be longer in the torso, and taller to do that," he explains.

The only lingering question: What made little Jake leave in the first place?

"He said he was going to go home and see his puppy," his mom smiles.

Kim Phillips has moved her son to a different daycare. The owner of her son's former daycare did not want to comment.

Chief Cobb did fill out a police report, but he doesn't expect any charges will be filed against the daycare.

He also points out parents should tell their children not to be afraid of police.

He says children are scared of police because they think they will be arrested, and that can be a problem when officers are trying to get information on tracking down a lost child's parents.

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