An Ogden, Utah, man found a 4-year-old child wearing pajamas standing in the snow at a playground at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 27.
Marcus King was on his way to the park to play basketball when the girl called out to him.
“I had heard a little girl’s voice inside the park, didn’t really think nothing of it,” King told Fox 13 News. “Once I came around this way she had got my attention.”
King was across the street from the Marshall White Community Center at 222 28th Street, and he brought the girl there.
“She didn’t have any jacket, no shoes, no parental supervision, and just took action then and took her inside,” he said.
The staff there called police and King waited for more than three hours while authorities tried to reach the girl’s parents.
Police were able to find the girl’s address, in the 200 block of 28th Street, across the street from the park. What they found there was not pleasant.
“When they walked over there, the door was wide open,” King explained. “And the way the little girl was explaining it was: Her mom wasn’t paying attention, and her mom was on the floor sleeping.”
Ogden Police Lt. Tim Scott described the scene. “Officers went inside and found a 41-year-old mother dead,” he said. “She was living alone with her mother. There is no sign of foul play. There are some pre-existing medical conditions that may have played a role.”
Ogden Police Lt. Clint Christensen told Deseret News the girl’s mother had been dead for 15–20 hours due to medical issues he could not specify.
Apparently, the child had decided to leave home to go play in the park at some point after her mother’s death.
For his part, Marcus King was glad he was on the scene and able to give aid.
“This is not a good part of Ogden—there’s a lot of weirdos around here, and I’m really, really fortunate and happy that I got to her, and nobody else did,” he told Fox 13.
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services will take care of the child while relatives make arrangements.
The final one bright spot in this story? One of the child’s aunts saw the story on Fox 13 and contacted authorities.
Shelly Cunningham posted, “Thank you Marcus king!! This was my sister and my niece, the little girl is safe thank you so much.”