After getting the frightening call that her child went missing during the school day, a mother shares her emotional story and hopes to bring change.
Two strangers said their parental instincts kicked in at the right time.
“Their names are Stacy and Anthony and they found him. Stacy told me that she caught him, she had to run after him, she was in flip-flops and everything and had to run after him before he went into traffic,” said Tiffany Thurber, Ashtyn’s mother. “She immediately knew he was in danger. She knew that he was not supposed to be outside, he is way too little to be outside.”
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Tiffany Thurber was having a normal day at work when she received a call from the vice principal of Perry Elementary School in the Erie School District.
Thurber sped to the school once she was told that her four-year-old Ashtyn went missing but was brought back.
“They told me that the kids were outside playing and the teachers were bringing them back inside and they did a head count, and I guess there was a little confusion on the head count, and they recounted and they were like ‘no, it’s correct,'” said Thurber.
Ashtyn was found about a half mile away wandering down West 30th Street by two good Samaritans who stopped him and called police.
“I would help anybody’s kid,” said Anthony Gonzales, who found Ashtyn. “He had ran across Raspberry, Cascade, Elmwood and he was about to cross Melrose, but I stopped him before he got to Melrose.”
“He told me that he was hiding at the playground and I said ‘really?'” said Stacy Fraschetti who also found Ashtyn. “We figured maybe he coming from Perry Elementary School.”
According to Thurber, the school did not know that he went missing before police called the school to say they had found him.
We reached out to the Erie School District regarding this and they released a statement to us that said:
“All appropriate measures have been taken to address the situation. Student safety is and has always been our primary concern.”
Thurber hopes that the school district makes stricter safety precautions so that a situation like this does not happen again.
“Perry Elementary does not have a fence around their playground. A fence is definitely something that they would need,” Thurber said.
“Parents send their kids to these schools thinking that they are going to trust them and keep their babies safe,” Fraschetti said. “I couldn’t imagine sending my kid there after this happened.”
Thurber ended up keeping Ashtyn home Friday after the shock that made her feel like the school isn’t safe.