MALDEN, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Rita McCormick was in her car chatting with a neighbor Wednesday afternoon when she saw something she'll never forget.
"I said, 'Is that a baby I see walking across the street naked?' The neighbor said, 'Yes it is.' "
Not knowing what else to do, she asked the little girl to get in the car with her.
"I didn't see anyone chasing her or looking for her," she said.
McCormick took the child home with her and called 911.
"I was afraid someone else might pick her up and do harm to the child," she said.
She wrapped the toddler in a blanket and fed her Popsicles until police and CPS arrived.
Kanawha Sheriff's Deputies say about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the child walked out of her home along Salines Drive in Malden and headed to her grandpa's a few blocks away after her father had fallen asleep.
The grandpa, Allen Barefield, said almost the exact same thing happened this past Saturday.
Barefield says she walked all the way from her house to his while her mom was at work and her father was home napping.
"I'd like to get my hands on him,” Barefield said. “I hate to say that, but just for her sake.”
The child is back in the custody of her mother. The family is grateful this stranger did what she did.
"I'm glad (McCormick) was there at the right time," Barefield said. "I'm thankful to God.”
McCormick says she hopes this is a wake-up call and never happens again to a child she now feels a close bond with.
“I never dreamed in my wildest dreams to find a kid like that,” she said. “She'll be my kid forever, my kid forever in my heart."
No charges have been filed.
Deputies say the father can't have custody until he completes a parenting class.
The father declined to comment Wednesday.
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