On a cold winter day in December 2016, private investigator Jane Holmes was driving down a busy Georgia highway when she spotted a scared 6-year-old on the side of the road without a coat.
"She was running and walking, running and walking,” Holmes told Fox 32. "She was crying."
Holmes, who has worked with a number of missing-child cases, feared for the worst when she pulled over to confront the crying girl, later identified as Julianna Pimentel. But, she was surprised to hear that the girl was on the side of the road because the school's bus driver dropped her off at the wrong location. The entire exchange was recorded on Holmes' dashboard camera.
Usually, Pimentel is dropped off at her day-care right after kindergarten, according to The Washington Post. However, a substitute bus driver, unaware of the instructions to take the girl to the day-care, asked Pimentel where her house was and drove her there instead. The driver left Pimentel outside of an empty house and the girl tried to walk almost two miles to her day care facility.
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She had walked over a quarter of a mile before Holmes pulled over.
"I lost my family!" Pimentel sobbed when Holmes asked if she was okay. Holmes then drove the young girl to the sheriff's office.
In the meantime, Pimentel's parents were undergoing a frantic search for their daughter. The girl's father, Gilberto, had received a text message from the day care saying that the school bus drove by the facility, but Pimentel did not get off the bus. He called the school, but nobody answered.
Finally, he received a phone call from a sheriff's deputy and was relieved to hear that his daughter was safe. Julianna is now afraid to get back on the bus, and must be coaxed by her parents or daycare.
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According to Fox 32, the substitute bus driver later acknowledged that she left the young girl at the wrong location and was promptly fired by school officials.
"I feel that it’s a justice," Gilberto said. "She put my daughter in harm. She’s an adult, she knew."