GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Ronnetta Black was walking to her girlfriend’s house just before 2 a.m. Thursday when a toddler bumped into her legs in the dark, in the middle of the road.
“I just looked at him, like, this is a little kid. I couldn’t believe, like, this is a 1-year-old in the street,” Black, 17, said.
What she didn’t know was that the 20-month-old boy had walked away from a home about two blocks away in northeast Grand Rapids.
“I didn’t even notice him because he was so small,” said Black. “He just ran into my legs. He just ran into me and kept on going, just kept on moving,” she said.
The boy’s mom, Mickelle Antekeier, told 24 Hour News 8 she immediately called 911 after realizing her son, Jordan, had disappeared.
That was at 2:41 a.m. — nearly an hour after he was found.
Police said they have referred the case to Children’s Protective Services. They said they previously referred the family to CPS in March after Jordan’s 3-year-old brother wandered away from home. It’s not clear what happened in that case.
Black said she was on North Avenue near Fernando Street NE when the boy in a T-shirt, jeans, soaked-through diaper and muddy socks seemed to appear from nowhere in the middle of the street.
“I honestly think he would have got hit by a car, because he was just in the street,” Black said.
Black soon caught up with him.
“I was like, ‘You want to come with me?’ I put my hand out and he grabbed my hand and kept walking,” She said.
It’s unclear how long Jordan had been outside in the unusually cool temperatures, but Black said he was cold.
Black and Jordan walked hand-in-hand up North Avenue, then east on Spencer Street, hoping to find a parent out looking for him. With no luck, Black took Jordan to her friend’s house, where her friend’s mother called 911 at 1:52 a.m.
“It makes me really mad, like, you couldn’t pay attention to your 1-year-old?” Black said. “It’s your 1-year-old. He should have been in bed. He should have had his pajamas on.”
Jordan had not been reported missing, so police went door-to-door, searching for a little less than an hour before the boy’s mom called 911.
Grand Rapids police say Antekeier told them Jordan slipped away from a friend’s house on Maude Avenue while she slept on the couch. That’s about two blocks from where he was found.
She told 24 Hour News 8 that she’d been at a “dinner party” with friends at the home on Maude. She said Jordan left while she was in the bathroom.
“My friends, they went to go to the store, I locked the door behind them. He was in her bedroom. I went to use the bathroom myself and I came back out and he was gone,” she said.
She said she called 911 and ran out to look for him.
“He’s a cute kid and he’s very friendly. Anybody could have snatched him up,” Antekeier
Police believe the boy got out of the house through an unlocked screen door.
The pair was reunited around 3 a.m.
“I just don’t want to let him go,” Antekeier said while holding her son.