The grandmother of an 18-month-old boy boy who walked away from a Dayton home Saturday wants the man who found him to know how thankful she is.
Carol Walsack said the terrifying disappearance had a happy ending. She wants to reach out to find the person who found her grandson, Gabriel Carter, and turned him safely over to authorities.
The boy and his 6-month-old sister hadn't slept much the night before and had kept their father, Michael Carter, awake. The Carter family was visiting from Sacramento.
Saturday afternoon when the children and their father were taking a nap, Walsack and her daughter left note and went shopping in Carson City.
The toddler awoke while his father still slept. The child crawled out of his crib, left the house and shut the door behind himself. The boy headed down the road and out to Highway 50 where he was spotted by a passer-by.
No one thought the toddler had the ability to crawl out of his crib before then let alone open their door and walk out, Walsack said.
The father woke up to find the boy gone, but thought he was with Walsack. He called Walsack on her cell phone to see if she had taken the boy shopping. Meanwhile, police and firefighters were knocking on doors in the area to locate the boy's parents.
Lyon County Sheriff's Department went to the house at 2 p.m. Saturday. The identity of the man who found the boy could not be released because a report has not yet been filed, according to the sheriff's department.
Police called for emergency medical assistance. Except for a dirty diaper, the boy was found unharmed.
The boy was taken to the Dayton substation following an unsuccessful door-to-door search for his parents. Child Protective Services was called and is checking into the incident, police said.
The sheriff's department has not yet decided whether charges will be filed in the matter, according to Sgt. Jeroen Wynands. Gabriel's grandparents and father arrived 1 hour and 45 minutes after the boy was found, deputies said.
Walsack said she is aware some people might judge her for what happened, but what is most important to her now is finding a way to thank the man who picked Gabriel up, she said.
"He is such a precious child and so important to us," Walsack said.
Before they located their grandson, the worst possible thoughts ran through their minds, she said.
"I hope this person sees (this article) so that he knows more than anything we appreciated that he stopped and did the right thing," Walsack said.