Watch CBS News

Forgotten Girl With Special Needs Found Hours Later Locked In School Bathroom

CERES, Calif.  (CBS13) — A mom is outraged after her daughter, who has special, needs didn't make it home from summer school.

The 14-year-old non-verbal student was supposed to board a bus home from Cesar Chavez Junior High but never made it out of the locked bathroom after school.

The question now is: how did she go unnoticed?

ALSO: Officers Scour Area Near Levee For Bodies Of Missing Woodland Teens

Although Evelyn Donias' child was missing for nearly three hours,  she says it felt like an eternity.

"Where is she? Where is she? They can't lose her. She's a person. She's my baby," said Donias, "Where's my baby, like did somebody kidnap her? What's going on?"

It happened on Monday. Donias says she quickly became frantic when she found out her daughter, who has autism and can't speak, never boarded the bus to come home from summer school.

"They're supposed to be safe. She's supposed to be taken care of," she said.

ALSO: Autistic Girl's Family Releases Video Of School Bus Driver's Alleged Abuse

Panicked, Donias rushed to the school, only to find the campus locked and everyone gone for the day. Her daughter was nowhere to be found. Donias contacted the district and says police were called to break onto campus where they found the girl inside a bathroom in her classroom.

That was at 4:45 pm. School ends at 2:10 pm.

Donias said, "Just in there by herself. She's non-verbal, she can't be like hey guys, hello? Help!"

Donias says there was a substitute teacher's aide that day who told the teacher all the kids had been accounted for before clearing the classroom.

Ceres Unified School District tells CBS13 it is very concerned about the incident, calling it some sort of procedural breakdown that is currently under investigation.

"I don't want her going back there and I don't want this happening to someone else."

While she plans to file a complaint with the district, for now, the mom is just glad her girl is home safe.

"Thank God, just thank God you're OK."

Donias says the district did tell her that because of this incident, it is now requiring teachers to have a checklist of all special education students names, that will be checked off when those students get on the bus, in hopes this doesn't happen again.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.