Locals travelling to school and work on Tuesday morning were shocked to discover a toddler – cold, alone and covered in ant bites – wandering behind a fence along the side of a road south of Brisbane.
The three-year-old girl was in wet, dirty pyjamas and was putting rocks in her mouth when one resident, Kylie Hey, drove past the girl and did a double take just after 8.30am.
She noticed the child was on the other side of a fence, inside the closed Greenbank Military Range on Springfield Greenbank Arterial Road in Greenbank.
“I found her wandering inside the fence and I’ve driven past and I just looked and then I did a double take,” Ms Hey told The Courier-Mail.
“She was just picking up rocks and putting them in her mouth. She was covered in mud and she had ants all over her.”
Ms Hey managed to grab the girl’s hand through the fence and phoned police.
Mum offers girl food from kids' lunchboxes
A second woman travelling along the road on the way to take her children to school noticed Ms Hey and the girl, and at first thought they had pulled over for a toilet stop.
When one of Sarah Ransley’s children noticed the girl was behind a fence, she turned the car around to help – as did several others, some who had ladders.
Ms Ransley told the paper they took the girl out of her muddy clothes and wrapped her in a towel, before she was offered food from the kids’ lunchboxes.
“She sat in the car with me and my kids with the heater on, just snuggling up and she was eating my kids' lunch boxes and stuff like that, just to warm her up and give her a good feed,” Ms Ransley said.
Police received a report from a mum who had slept in and woken to find her child was missing, and soon confirmed it was her daughter who had been found, The Courier-Mail reported.
The girl and her mum were reunited around 10.30am.
"The child was taken to hospital to be checked but appeared to be in good health," a Queensland Police spokesperson told Yahoo News.
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