(CBS News)When a Maryland toddler went missing for nearly 10 hours, it was God that helped him get home. That’s according to the postal worker who found the 2-year-old boy walking barefoot along a highway.
U.S. Postal Service employee Keith Rollins found the boy on I-95 on Thursday morning — wet, shivering and barefoot. He had been missing since Wednesday night, CBS affiliate WUSA reports.
“It was God-ordained that I be in that place at that time,” Rollins told WUSA. “Remarkable, man, remarkable.”
The little boy, Ethan Adeyemi, ran away from family members outside his home in Elkridge, Maryland, Howard County police said. Ethan followed an adult outside of the house then disappeared around 10:20 p.m.
The family contacted police, who immediately started a search with fire personnel, K9 units, drones, aircraft and helicopters from neighboring departments.
Neighbors also began canvasing the area, the family said. But it was a stranger, who didn’t even know the boy was missing, who ended up finding him.
Rollins was driving on I-95 around 8 a.m. Thursday morning when he noticed something unusual, WUSA reports.
“I happened to see a little head,” Rollins said. “I didn’t know whether it was a human head or whether it was an animal, so I pulled over and called 911.”
He got out of his car and cautiously approached what turned out to be the 2-year-old boy. Rollins said the child was “shivering.”
“He only had a pair of sweatpants and sweatshirt, no shoes or socks, so I walked up to him. I said, ‘Hey buddy. How you doing? What’s your name? Are you OK?’ He looked at me, but I didn’t get a response from him,” Rollins said. Police later told him the boy is believed to be on the autism spectrum and is currently non-verbal.
Ethan has yet to be diagnosed because of his young age, but he claps in response to his name, police said.
Rollins knows kids well — he’s a grandfather to a little girl not too much older than Ethan. He knew he had to do something. “Once I didn’t get a response from him, I decided to just scoop him up, and I took him to my vehicle,” he said.
“I had a sweater that I tried to cover him up with, and turned up the heat and I called the police back and said that I had the little boy in my vehicle, and within a matter of minutes, the police were there.”
The child was taken to the hospital when police arrived and he was treated for hypothermia, his family said. He was home on Thursday night and doing well, an uncle told WUSA.
Many are now praising Rollins as the hero who saved the day — but he doesn’t see it that way. “Giving glory to God that I was able to help at that particular time and be in the correct place at the right time,” he said. “But a hero? Nah, not at all.”
First published on February 7, 2020 / 12:36 PM
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