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School releases Detroit 3rd grader to unauthorized person, child missing for hours

Panic ensued when the 8-year-old was nowhere to be found

DETROIT – Police responded to a call of a third grader Thursday who went missing at Woodward Academy, located in Detroit.

The 8-year-old was nowhere to be found during dismissal, and the child’s mother increasingly grew in panic.

Teachers, police, parents and neighbors began a frantic search for 8-year-old Darnay Hogg and questions quickly arose as to how a child could wander off school campus so easily.

“There were five to six teachers out there, I don't understand how someone didn't see her leave that area,” Denise Cook, the child’s mother, said.

Police say the child was somehow unaccounted for by teachers.

“All of the children who were part of the class she was in they all came inside and somehow she was not accounted for,” said Commander Arnold Williams, who assisted in the search.

After four hours of searching, police began an interview with Local 4 to spread the word on the missing child when suddenly, the news broke: The child has been found, and she was safe.

Turns out, the school released the third grader to a family friend who was not on the list of authorized persons.

Relief for Cook also came with frustration toward the school.

“You should go hard on this school, because for those hours, my baby was dead. I didn’t have my child and that school was supposed to be more responsible for that,” she said

Police, not ready to say what repercussions, if any, anyone may face, said they’re just relieved the child is safe.

“It makes you feel real good,  you always want to try to help a child out,” said officer Dennis Smith “It's good when you're able to do so.”