The girl and her dog, Angel, were discovered walking through an apartment complex on Commons Court, off East Pine Log Road, about 5 p.m. by an apartment resident.
According to an Aiken Public Safety incident report, the 51-year-old woman told officers the child was dirty and crying.
When police arrived, the girl appeared unharmed but told officers she was hungry and had gotten lost after she went outside with her dog, a Labrador/chow mix who had been adopted about two weeks ago.
“The dog was walking freely,” said Sgt. Jason Mahoney, who responded to the scene. “The dog was by her side the whole time and did not want to leave.”
Animal Control was called after officers noticed the dog had a microchip.
Within 30 minutes, officers were able to pinpoint Angel and the girl’s home address, about 440 yards away on Robinwood Drive. Police would not identify the family.
“The fact that the officers noticed (the microchip) right away really sped things along and got the child home quickly,” Mahoney said.
The child’s parents told officers they had fallen asleep from 1:30 to 2 p.m. and had left their daughter playing video games with her 5- and 6-year-old siblings. The parents said all of the doors had been locked when they went to sleep.
Aiken Public Safety Sgt. Aaron Dowdy said he does not foresee any charges being filed against the parents.
“We contact the Department of Social Services just to make them aware,” he said, “but this is just a case where the parents fell asleep and the child slipped out.”
Mahoney said that the child had to cross Robin Road before she arrived at the apartment complex but that it does not usually have a lot of traffic.