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Help from public reunites lost girl with mother

Photo provided by EBRSO
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POSTED: Friday, June 13, 2014 - 4:00am

UPDATED: Friday, June 13, 2014 - 2:22pm

A young girl is back with her mother today, thanks to people like you.

Around 7:30 yesterday morning, a passerby found a girl in her pajamas, crying in the parking lot of the Jefferson Lakes apartment complex, 12400 Jefferson Highway. The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office says the Good Samaritan did all the right things.

"Yes, she absolutely did," said Casey Rayborn Hicks, an EBRSO spokeswoman. "She contacted us immediately. She also checked in the area to see if she could find the parents."

But the girl, approximately 4-5 years old, has special needs, Hicks added, so it was tough, even for detectives, to find her family. Late in the morning, the sheriff's office asked for help from our viewers.

"Almost immediately, we received information about who the child was, who her parents were," Hicks noted.

In less than an hour, detectives reached out to the girl's mother, who was at work. Her aunts had been watching her at the apartment complex, but both thought the other had her when she wandered away from their apartment.

Because of everyone's help, the young girl's scary day ended quickly.

"Before Facebook was big, before even internet news was big, it would be very difficult," to close a case like this so quickly, Hicks noted.

If anyone else comes across an unattended child, Hicks said they should follow the example of the Good Samaritan at Jefferson Lakes.

"Call 911, contact the sheriff's office, [or] the police department directly," she advised. "Let us come out and assess the situation. If we need to, we will call Child and Family Services to also make sure that the child is being cared for properly."

Neither of the aunts will face charges related to the investigation.

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