Freezing Toddler Who Snuck Out Of House At 3 A.M. Is Saved By Pizza Delivery Driver.

Gabe Botello hero who rescued child in middle of night

On a cold February evening, while her mother slept peacefully, a toddler slipped out of her home and into the darkened streets of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dressed only in a tee shirt, socks, and a diaper, the 3-year-old girl wandered around the abandoned parking lots of the city’s southwest side all by herself. She was cold, and almost certainly afraid, but most of all, she was not safe. Thankfully, the right person saw her out alone and knew something wasn’t right.

Gabe Botello was delivering pizzas for Villa Pizza when he saw the unattended child at around 3 a.m. He caught a glimpse of her in the McConnell parking lot, but by the time he’d dropped off the food to his clients and retraced his steps, she had vanished into the night.

A father-of-seven himself, Gabe refused to go back to work until he located the little girl. He started pulling into vacant parking lots to search for her. He finally spotted her curled up between two cinderblock walls at a factory loading dock across the street.

The concerned father jumped out of his car, pulled off his hoodie and wrapped her up to keep her warm. He put her into his car and gave her some water while he called 911.

“I had some water in my car, so she was drinking some water and I was just kind of like rubbing her back, letting her know she was okay and she started falling asleep,” Gabe recalled. “She was so just like exhausted and cold.”

Police arrived and were able to locate the toddler’s home, where they discovered her mother was sound asleep and thought her daughter was, too. Grand Rapid Police confirmed that this was an accident, and no charges will be filed.

Gabe is adamant that he doesn’t judge the child’s mother, and he hopes no one else will, either. As a parent, he understands that children are quick and don’t always listen when we tell them what’s best for them. He’s just glad he was the one who found her, especially in a neighborhood like the one where she was found.

“Sometimes you want to turn a blind eye but, you just never know [who] you’re saving,” Gabe said. “Anybody could have picked up that little girl. In the middle of Ionia and Wealthy is not the best part of Grand Rapids, there’s a lot of foot traffic over there, so, you know, I’m just glad she made it home. I’m glad she’s okay.”

Gabe not only did the right thing by finding the child and calling police, but his level-headed and compassionate response to her mother warms our heart. It truly does take a village sometimes, and we’re so glad this seasoned dad was there when a child needed him most.

Share this story to thank Gabe for his kindness.

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