A 3-year-old girl was missing for almost two hours Wednesday morning from her family’s Arlington apartment, but authorities say she was actually safe in a nearby neighbor‘s home.
Esther Nbegwa had walked away from her home at the Sutter Creek Apartments as her siblings got ready for school.
“Her mother leaves at 5:30 a.m. and her father gets home at 6 a.m., so there’s a short amount of time where the kids are alone,” said Arlington police Sgt. Jeff Houston on Wednesday.
A neighbor found Esther wandering around in the complex, took her into his apartment with his family and asked her where she lived, Houston said.
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“She pointed to an area, but he couldn’t find her parents,” Houston said. “He just kept her warm on a couch and waited.”
Meanwhile, a massive search was underway at the complex in the 2200 block of Henderson Drive in Arlington for Esther. Arlington police were concerned for the safety of the missing girl because of the frigid temperatures in the area.
At the time, Esther had last been seen wearing a gray or pink sweater and light colored pants.
At about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, a paramedic was walking by the apartment where the family was keeping Esther when the resident opened the door, Houston said.
“The paramedic saw the little girl standing behind the man,” Houston said.
Paramedics checked Esther over and she was in good condition.
Detectives continued to investigate the case for any possible criminal charges, Houston said.