Richmond kindergartner mistakenly taken to daycare after school

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A kindergartner went missing for two hours in Richmond Wednesday afternoon after a mix up at school.

John Washington III was supposed to be picked up after school at E.S.H. Greene Elementary, but when his mother got there he was nowhere to be found.

At an interview later that afternoon, he didn't even know he had been lost.

"Why you was crying?" he asked his mother.

"Cause I didn't know where you were and I was afraid," Celeste Venters replied,

For Venters, the hours were long and unthinkable.

"It's just a feeling that's out of this world," said Venters. "To love somebody that's just four-years-old and to know that they're not with you and they don't know what's going on and to not know when you're going to get them back or even if you're going to get them back."

Police say John got on a bus to a daycare called New Directions and that he used to go there before school started. They say he was always supervised by an adult while he was missing.

"The first time I went on the bus I got to daycare," John said.

But his mom said he never should have been on a list to go there after school.

"How did this happen?" Venters asked. "Because there was never information provided to them or anything that I ever stated to them that would have let them think he was supposed to go with them."

A daycare provider says John was still on her list of students attending the daycare from when he used to attend.

She also re-emphasized that there are several checks to make sure only the right kids end up at New Directions, including markings on the students' name tags provided by the school. She says the students are also checked getting on and off the bus.

John's mom says in this case, the checks from both the school and the daycare didn't work, because her son was missing and he wasn't supposed to go to daycare.

"I'm afraid for him to get an education because I don't know if there's another day I might come and he's not there!" said Venters.

We did reach out to several officials with Richmond Public Schools but did not hear back. Richmond Police say a school investigation into what happened is underway.

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