The parents of Katalyah and Jayden Hill, ages 7 and 9, died in a car crash several years ago. The siblings’ grandmother, Sandra Young, has been raising them ever since.
Sandra, 75, was recently supposed to go to her sister’s house with the kids, but they never made it.
The hours turned into days … five excruciating days. By this point, Sandra and the children were considered to be “at risk,” because loved ones had expressed concern over Sandra’s health. She had been showing signs of dementia. And she doesn’t have a cellphone, which made it even more difficult to find them.
Authorities sent a wireless emergency alert to cellphones in the area and posted a photo of Sandra on the CHP Alert Twitter page.
Barbie Liden, the manager at a local Shell gas station, was working the morning shift when a group of customers walked in. They looked like tired, like they’d been driving for a while.
They asked Barbie if they could use the bathroom, and that’s when Barbie noticed the woman’s short haircut. Something about her hair really stood out.
The alert manager went online to compare the woman inside the gas station to the photo of the missing woman she’d seen earlier.
As soon as the bathroom door closed, Barbie called 911 — and ended up becoming a hometown hero.