A Utah man rescued a 4-year-old girl last week after he came across her alone in a park in freezing temperatures.
The man, Marcus King, was on his way to play pickup basketball Wednesday afternoon when the little girl called out to him from a playground near the Marshall White Community Center in Ogden, KTSU reported.
King said that when he first heard the little girl’s voice, he didn’t think much of it. But when she got his attention, he noticed that she was alone and not properly dressed for the frigid weather.
“She didn’t have any jacket, no shoes, no parental supervision, and just took action then and took her inside,” he said.
King brought the girl to the community center, who assisted him in calling police. King then abandoned his plans to play basketball, sticking around for about three hours while investigators tried to locate the girl’s mother.
Once they did, it was a tragic scene, King said.
The little girl had explained to King that her mom was sleeping on the floor and “wasn’t paying attention,” he said.
But, when officers responded to the girl’s home, they found the front door “wide open” and the girl’s 41-year-old mother dead.
The two were living alone in the home, police said. There is no sign of foul play, and pre-existing medical conditions may have played a role in the woman’s death, according to police.
King said he is thankful that he was able to help the woman’s young daughter.
“This is not a good part of Ogden,” he said. “There’s a lot of weirdoes around here, and I’m really, really fortunate and happy that I got to her, and nobody else did,” he said.
The child was placed into the care of the Division of Child and family services while authorities work to determine if she has any relatives who she can live with.