Girl found wandering as mother lay dead is back with family

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OGDEN — As police continue to investigate the death of a mother in her home, relatives say her daughter is safe with other family members.

On Wednesday, a 4-year-old girl was found without a jacket or shoes and only wearing her pajamas at a snow-covered park across the street from the Marshall White Community Center. A good Samaritan spotted the girl and took her to the center for shelter and called police.

Marcus King found it strange that the girl was outside alone without a parent or adult in sight.

“I walk up and see that she has no socks on, no shoes, no jacket or anything like that. She’s just dragging her feet through the snow,” King said.

King stayed with the girl at the center while police arrived.

“I was a little torn up by it,” King said. “Having to find a little girl out in the snow like that.”

Police say the girl led them across the street to an apartment complex where they found an open door in the 200 block of 28th Street. The child told police "her mom was at home laying down."

Inside, they found the girl's mother deceased. Police say the death is not considered suspicious, but they were waiting for autopsy results to determine how she died. She was believed to have been dead for 15 to 20 hours before her body was discovered.

“We believe there may have been some pre-existing medical conditions that could explain the death,” Ogden Police Lieutenant Tim Scott told KSL.

Neither the names of the mother nor the girl have been released by police. The girl was initially placed with the Division of Child and Family Services.

But on Facebook, a woman who claimed to be a cousin of the mother posted, "Please prayers for the family … (the girl) will be back in her grandmother's care as of tomorrow … we praise God (she) was found safe. …"

King said dozens of people have been reaching out to him on Facebook — including the girl’s grandmother — to say “thanks.” Some even called him a hero, though he doesn’t consider himself one.

“I just did the right thing,” King said. “There’s a little kid out here… what are you supposed to do? It’s the one thing to do.”

Contributing: Mike Anderson, KSL TV

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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