SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Families of two elementary school students who disappeared in South Sacramento today got a big relief today.
The seven-year-old girls walked off of school campus before class started at Peter Burnett Elementary. Five hours later, they were found safe.
The girls were found in Curtis Park, five miles away from their school and five hours after they went missing, leading several people to ask: who did they get away from school so easily?
“A million things run through your head. You don’t want to think the worst, but in this day and age, how can you not?” said Ella’s mother.
A parent’s worst nightmare came true today when their 7-year-old daughter Ella disappeared from school with her classmate.
“They’re seven. They’re seven years old,” she said.
The girls were both dropped off at school and even played on the playground for a but, but never made it to their classrooms.
It been a rough day for Ella who says she and her friend decided to go on an adventure, walking right out of the school’s front gate that was not being monitored.
“Usually there’s like a girl right there, but today she wasn’t there,” said Ella.
School officials say they realized the girls were gone just after class started around 9 a.m. and then searched the campus. An hour later, still no luck. They called police and parents.
“I looked everywhere,” said Ella’s father.
For nearly five hours the girls were gone police, family and friends searching everywhere.
“After an hour or two you’re like are they ever gonna find them?” said Ella’s mother.
Then the panic turned to relief when a police K9 unit spotted in Curtis Park. They were unharmed, but miles away from where they should have been. They had crossing train tracks and busy streets.
“I just saw her and I was like, she’s safe,” said Ella’s father.
But parents want to know why their kids were able to leave in the first place.
“It is their responsibility. Once those kids cross that line into the playground, they are responsible for those children,” said Ella’s mother.
Despite missing class, this second grade student learned a lesson today.
Angela: Are you glad to be home tonight?
Angela: Are you gonna walk out of school again?
Ella shook her head no.
“Thank you God, she’s home,” said Ella’s father.
A Sacramento City Unified School District spokesperson says they’re still investigating how the girls got out unnoticed.
Ella’s parents plan to meet with the school’s principal monday to make sure this never happens again.