Just feet away from a playground, cars swing and slide their way through an intersection in Austin.

“And, it’s very busy,” Pamela Childress says.

It’s an occasional pit stop for Childress. On Friday, she stopped at a nearby restaurant, but what she saw she couldn’t believe.

“We pulled into the parking lot, and my son says ‘Oh my goodness.'”

They were both staring at a toddler, alone, headed toward Highway 367.

“Just immediately my heart stopped,” Childress says.

She scooped the child up, dialed 911 and headed next door to the Austin Academy for Kids daycare.

“And I said, ‘Well is this one of your kids?'” Childress says.

“They said ‘What do you mean is it one of your kids?’ and I said well, he’s not mine.”

Turns out, the boy was in the custody of the daycare.

According to a police report, daycare staff told police the child got out through an open gate while teachers were busy with other children.

“I don’t know why they never noticed this child was gone,” Childress says.

The boy’s father arrived and had a few words for Pamela.

“He hugged me after I left and said thank you so much for not letting anything happen to my baby.”

We reached out to the Austin Academy for Kids. The daycare declined to speak with us about the incident.

A misdemeanor child endangerment charge was listed on the police report, along with three suspects. It’s unclear whether the suspects will face charges.