FEDERAL WAY -- Two kids were found dirty and alone, running around a local Walmart parking lot. The mother and daughter who found them say they called police when they got the feeling something wasn't right.
Maybe it was mother’s intuition. But Linda Duncan-Delgado knew there was a problem when she and her daughter pulled into the Federal Way Walmart on Mother’s Day.
“I said this doesn’t look right, something is amiss here.”
They saw a toddler covered in dirt, running through the parking lot. Duncan-Delgado worried he might head toward a busy street.
“I knew he was in danger, so I got out and kind of ran after him. At the same time, my daughter contacted 911.”
“The little boy had a dirty diaper that hadn’t been changed all morning,” says Sarah Duncan. “He wasn’t wearing any shoes, he didn’t have a shirt on.”
They found the boy’s 5-year-old sister nearby. She was also dirty, hungry and thirsty.
“I could tell they hadn’t eaten all day, so we took them into the Walmart,” says Duncan-Delgado. “My daughter and I kind of cleaned them up a bit, washed their hands and face, and got them some Happy Meals.”
She says when they washed them, there was so much dirt the sink ran black.
Police found the children’s mother and her fiancé parked in two cars nearby. Both had fallen asleep. Police released the children back into their care. But they referred the case to Child Protective Services and to prosecutors who may file abandonment charges.
“I don’t know the circumstances or the situation,” says Duncan-Delgado. “But I think the first thing that needs to happen is to make sure those children are protected at any cost.”
She is glad she and her daughter took the time to make sure the children were safe, and she hopes other people will do the same if they see children who may be in danger.
“I really believe it’s the difference between life and death. Look at this parking lot, something could have happened so quickly.”
“It could have so easily been one of them got hit by a car, or one of them got kidnapped,” adds Duncan. “So many things could have happened. Thank God they didn’t.”
Q13 Fox News asked Federal Way Police why the children were not immediately taken into protective custody when they were found. We were told the officer did not think they were in imminent danger, and that they could be cared for by their mother and a grandmother who was also called. But the case is still being reviewed.