FORT MYERS, Fla. - A four year old child found wandering in the middle of road at 2:00 in the morning is safe at home tonight.
"I was so scared, a lot of bad things were running through my mind."
Sheer terror is what Nancy Jimenez says she was feeling once she realized her four year old niece Catarina was missing from her bed.
"My husband was sleeping, so he's all like "she's sleeping". He never thought she was going to get up in the middle of the night and walk off."
Deputies say that's exactly what she did. Catarina was spending the night at her aunt's for the very first time. Jimenez says she put her three children and Catarina to bed and then went to work at a nearby restaurant. She got home at around 4:30 in the morning.
"I don't see her shoes under the doorstep."
Catarina walked from the back of Forestwood Apartment Homes all the way to Brantley Road.
"My sister says that probably she wanted to go home."
Good samaritans found Catarina around 2 a.m and called police. Today, Jimenez is counting her blessings.
"Time is of the essence, especially down here in Florida because this child happened to be in the roadway, there is so much water, there are so many things that could have happened."
When a child is abducted, 44 percent die within the first hour. After three hours, that number jumps to 76 percent and after a full day, a startling 88 percent.
"How about if someone took her when she was going out the door."
Jimenez knows she got lucky.
"I'm so grateful, I'm so grateful."