A little girl’s grandfather sparked an alert when he collected the wrong child from a kindergarten and took her home with him.
The grandfather had apparently been confused by the fact that his granddaughter had recently had a new haircut, and then when he turned up to collect her, he took the wrong child from the kindergarten in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The staff were also not suspicious because the six-year-old girl did not object and calmly left with the man, and the mix-up was only discovered when the real parents came to pick up their child.
When they were told that she had left with an old man, police were called and a citywide alert was ordered.
The missing girl’s mother, Lyudmila Epifanova, said she had never seen her second grandfather and had been delighted when he turned up to collect her and willingly left with him.
The man for his part took the little girl home, and made her dinner as agreed with her parents, unaware that he had collected the wrong girl.
The mistake was clarified when the school noticed that another child with the same name, Polina, had not been collected, and when they checked with her parents, discovered the mixup.
The grandfather then bought the child back, and the parents of the “kidnapped” child did not press any charges as a result.
The mother of the girl who should have been collected, Anna Palaeva, said the fact her daughter had recently had a new haircut had confused her grandfather.
Eventually, both Polinas were safely returned to their respective homes.
But disciplinary action awaits the teacher who allowed the wrong child to be taken away by the incorrect man, despite it being her first day on duty.
The administration of the Nevsky district that was responsible for the kindergarten emphasized that not being familiar with the child’s parents does not excuse the oversight, and they conducted additional briefings with the institution’s teachers on observing safety measures for pupils in duty groups.