When Keith Rollins, who works for USPS, spotted something on the side of the freeway on Thursday around 8 a.m., he decided to investigate. It was a mercy he did.
“I happened to see a little head,” Rollins told WUSA. “I didn’t know whether it was a human head or whether it was an animal, so I pulled over and called 911.”
Upon further inspection, the odd bundle turned out to be a barefoot 2-year-old wandering around on his own.
“He was behind there shivering, cold,” Rollins told the news outlet. “He only had a pair of sweatpants on and a sweatshirt, no shoes or socks. So I walked up to him and I said, ‘Hey buddy. How you doing? What’s your name? Are you OK?’ He looked at me, but I didn’t get a response from him.”
“Once I didn’t get a response from him, I decided to just scoop him up, and I took him to my vehicle. I had a sweater that I tried to cover him up with, and turned up the heat and I called the police back and said that I had the little boy in my vehicle, and within a matter of minutes, the police were there.”
The Howard County Police Department shared a photo of the missing boy and a description.
“Police and fire personnel, including K9 units, are doing a thorough search of the area but have yet to locate him,” they wrote. “Aircraft, including HCPD drones and helicopters from neighboring jurisdictions, are currently grounded due to weather.”
“Adeyemi is described as a black male, short for his age, last seen wearing burgundy sweatpants and a blue sweatshirt with white writing. He is not wearing socks or shoes.”
The next day, the police department updated followers with information about Ethan’s recovery, thanks to the observant postal worker.
“A U.S Postal worker driving on I-95 called 911 just after 8 a.m. after seeing Adeyemi on the side of the road,” they shared. “He told police he had seen reports this morning of a missing child with a photo of the little boy.”
“He stopped and took the child into his vehicle until emergency responders arrived. It appears Adeyemi walked approximately a half mile from where he went missing last night and was found on the side of I-95 northbound just prior to the Route 103.”
They also said that the toddler was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be treated for hypothermia, but is now back home and seems to be doing well.
While losing track of your 2-year-old overnight is terrifying, it’s a miracle that Ethan survived, is doing well and did not seem to come to any serious harm. As for Rollins, he knows why he stumbled across the lost child.
“Giving glory to God that I was able to help at that particular time and be in the correct place at the right time,” he explained. “I was just glad to be a part of a good-ending situation. But a hero? Nah, not at all.”
“It was God-ordained that I be in that place at that time. Remarkable, man, remarkable.”
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