Opelousas 4-year-old wandered off campus during school, stranger found him

Local

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)- A four-year-old Park Vista Elementary student was found wandering in the street by himself during school hours. 

News 10 spoke to the man who found the boy and has an exclusive interview with the mother of the child.
Letendre Ford says she was at work when she saw a Facebook post about a child walking on their own outside of school– she says she didn’t think anything of it.

She tells us she figured the school would have contacted her if it was her child.  But when she picked her son up from school, she found out more.

“I asked my child what happened and he clarified for me. And I went and talked to the person on Facebook and she described my son’s book sack and said my name, that’s from when she asked my child who his mommy was. And the neighbor, Jamara Jenkins, brought him back to the school.”

Rebeca spoke to Jenkins, who explains what he saw when he found Ford’s son. “I thought somebody was with him and I just couldn’t see them. I thought they were maybe behind the cars. So when I turned into my driveway, I looked harder and noticed nobody was with him.”


Jenkins said that’s when he approached the boy, “I asked him what’s his name and he told me Cody. I asked him, ‘Well where are you going, Cody?’ He said he was going home, he wanted his mommy.”

Jenkins says he then took the 4-year-old back to school. He says the whole situation was hard to believe, “I’m actually wondering what the teacher was doing. I mean, when I brought him in there [the school office], they were just as shocked as me. They didn’t even know he was missing.”

Ford tells News 10 she doesn’t know how long her son was missing from school, but she says even one minute was too long.

“I’m just happy that man was outside and grabbed my child because he was by himself. Even the man said he was easy. Easy access because nobody was outside even looking for him.”
“Something could have happened so bad. I would have went to school and my child wouldn’t have been there,” she added. “And they didn’t even report it, they didn’t call me. It was just like he was just nothing to them. And that’s my child. That’s my world.”

For now, Ford says she won’t be taking her son back to Park Vista until something is done. “I don’t feel safe bringing him back to school. Because what if I bring him back to school and it happens again and then I don’t see my child anymore?”

When News 10’s Rebeca Marroquin asked the boy why he left the classroom, he said it was because his teacher had hit him on his head and he wanted his mom.

St. Landry Parish Superintendent Patrick Jenkins says they’re taking the matter very seriously and an investigation is underway.

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