Good Samaritan sees 19 month old wandering alone, calls police - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Good Samaritan sees 19 month old wandering alone, calls police

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GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) -

A 19 month old little girl is safe, thanks to a Good Samaritan who stopped and alerted the police after she saw the child wandering in the parking lot of a church in Gastonia.

Dana Semon is still trying to wrap her mind around how a 19 month old little girl could be out wandering by herself and no one notice she's gone.

"She was just so hot," she recalled. "Her cheeks were red. No shoes, no diaper. Dress was halfway on her. She looked not clean. She just looked pitiful. She was hot and she just came straight to me and wanted me to hold her."

Semon saw the girl in the parking lot of East Baptist Church off Franklin Boulevard in her rearview mirror. The mom of three girls - including one not much older than the toddler -- knew she had to stop.

"I couldn't just keep driving by," Semon said. "That poor little child. It just wasn't right."

She also told WBTV she tried asking neighbors next to the church if they knew the little girl but no one recognized her.

"God kept his hand on that little girl for some reason," she said.  

So Semon called 911. Gastonia Police say they located the child's father -- asleep in his second floor apartment -- nearly 500 yards away.

A long way, says Dana for a child to walk barefoot.

"She was tiptoeing across this asphalt," she recalled. "It was hot. Her poor feet were scalding red, the bottom of them. My little girl had a pair of shoes in the car and I got those out and put them on her."

But Dana brushes off any talk of being a good Samaritan, saying she was just in the right time at the right place.

"I don't hold myself highly at all," she insisted. "I thank the good Lord that he did put me in her path. Anything could have happened. Anyone could have got her."

The child's father, Timothy Hullender, has been charged with child neglect according to Gastonia Police.

Hullender talked to WBTV off camera and said his daughter unlocked the deadbolt herself and that's how she got out. He also says he didn't even know she was gone until police knocked on his door Friday morning.

Police also say say the child is in the custody of DSS.

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