A 2-year-old Fort Worth boy who wandered away from home Christmas evening made it two long blocks to a neighbor’s house, where he was welcomed with cookies and milk until he could be reunited with his parents.
Angel Martinez’s family realized he had disappeared from their house on Sheffield Drive and had started a desperate search but couldn’t find him at first.
Turns out he had walked to the home of Liz Reyther-Chapoy whose family was wrapping up their own Christmas celebration.
"I had no idea who he was. We were like, who is he?” Rether-Chapoy said. “We called our neighbors. They said, ‘No, he didn't belong to us.’"
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The little boy appeared to be in good health. But clearly he was lost and unable to clearly say his name or show anyone where he lived.
"We brought him in,” Reyther-Chapoy said. “My daughter gave him cookies and milk."
They called police and posted pictures of him on Facebook, trying to find his family.
Angel's family said they all thought someone else was watching him.
His mother was resting after working her shift at a fast-food restaurant.
"I just remember I woke up to my mother-in-law saying, 'Where's Angel? Angel!'" said Angel’s mother Juliea Martinez. "We didn't know what to think. We didn't know where he was. We just wanted our child. We were so scared. My heart had just dropped. I just wanted him home."
A family member happened to see the Facebook picture and the parents raced to the neighbor's house.
Angel was already with a police officer.
"He was like, 'Mom! Mom! Mom!’ And ‘Daddy, daddy!’” Juliea Martinez said.
"I couldn't have gotten a better Christmas present this year. I'm very grateful," said his father Joel Martinez.
Now Angel’s parents said they are holding him extra tight -- and thanking the neighbor who was a stranger until now.
“You’re so welcome,” Reyther-Chapoy told them. "We were actually concerned that something had happened to y'all. We knew he was fine."
Reyther-Chapoy said the boy never cried a single time and even called her gramma.