Bus driver finds and returns missing kid

The mother noticed the front door open when she woke up Friday.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A missing 3-year-old was returned to his mother unharmed thanks to an attentive school bus driver Friday morning.

The mother of the child, who didn’t want to be identified, said she noticed her son missing after she woke up and saw the front door was open early Friday morning.

“He knows how to unlock the front door,” said the mother. “He’s seen me do many times and I tried using child locking, child proof mechanisms for the door.”

She said her son would go to a friend’s house nearby if he leaves the home. A neighbor said they saw the child walking on the sidewalk around 7 a.m. When she found out he wasn’t at his friend’s home and talked with the neighbor, she immediately called police. 

“Every possible situation goes through your mind,” she said. “Maybe someone took him, you know, maybe he got ran over. You know, you don’t know.” 

The mother said police officers spent about 20 minutes searching for her son. A short time later, the child was found in a Fort Wayne Community Schools bus. Benjamin Duvall, the driver, had seen the child wandering around by himself and picked him up. The child was several blocks away from his home.

“When I saw him, he was sitting in the grass and kind staring at the sky, minding his own business,” Duvall said. “I asked him if needed help, and he said he couldn’t find his mom.”

Duvall said he heard a description of the boy and potential location of him over his bus radio. He realized the location was along his route, so he drove by it and found him there.

“It brings me joy knowing that a child’s life is, is safe,” he said. “But again, that’s the duty of the bus driver.”

“I really wish I could [thank the bus driver],” the mother explained. “Even words wouldn’t be enough.”

She told NewsChannel 15 she will be replacing all the locks Friday. She said she doesn’t want this to happen again.

“I am not a perfect mother, but I am willing to own up to my mistakes and learn from them and to make sure they only happen once,” the mother told us. 

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