Today’s society seems to have programmed us not to get involved. Nobody wants to get caught on a cell phone video making a scene or being perceived as strange. Because of this, sometimes people who need help fall through the cracks; where our first reaction may be to offer assistance, the fear of potential embarrassment could outweigh that natural impulse.
Thankfully, in this case, one man felt no hesitation in doing something good.
When this Utah resident saw a 4-year-old girl playing by herself in the snow in a bad neighborhood, he felt an immediate compulsion to act. And though it led to a grizzly discovery, his courage and commitment to the girl’s safety might have even averted another tragedy.
Marcus King heard a small voice as he was walking through a dangerous part of his hometown.
On December 27th, Marcus King was on his way to play basketball in his hometown of Ogden, Utah. It was not a great neighborhood, but King knew it well and so he was relaxed. However, it was still somewhat risky, so when he heard a small, squeak of a voice he paused and turned in its direction.
The voice came from a little 4-year-old girl who was playing in the playground near the Marshall White Community Center. But what struck King as odd was the circumstances in which he found her.
“She didn’t have any jacket, no shoes, no parental supervision, and [I] just took action then and took her inside,” King said according to Fox 31 News.
To top it all off, temperatures were near freezing that day and it was already dark. Something needed to be done to protect this child, and without any hesitation, he grabbed the young girl, brought her into the local community center and called authorities.
King stayed with the girl as police investigated the whereabouts of her mother.
When King asked where the girl’s mother was and why she was playing alone, the girl tried to explain that her mother was “not paying attention” and “sleeping on the floor” of their house. This sounded strange to King and the authorities, who were concerned something had happened to the mother.
Police spent the next three hours trying to find the girl’s residence. In the meantime, King watched over the little girl the entire time, not leaving her side.
After a while, the police found the mother. Unfortunately, there was no good news to share.
“Officers went inside and found a 41-year-old mother dead,” Lt. Time Scott said according to Fox 31 News. “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.”
Though a sad end came out of the investigation, King’s commitment to protecting the girl might have averted another tragedy.
A brief investigation found that the mother had died 24 hours before King had found the little girl in the playground, which was across the street from her apartment.
The news was heartbreaking, but were it not for King’s intervention, it could have been a lot worse.
“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,” King said according to Fox 31 News.
The little girl was in protective custody of the Utah Child Services Department afterwards, as they looked for relatives who could take care of her. And though it might seem like a sad ending, King’s actions might have actually saved a young girl’s life, and that is something to celebrate.