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Missing Girl Found Unharmed After Night in Bus

September 10, 1989

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ A missing 5-year-old girl spent the night in a locked school bus after she apparently got on the wrong bus and didn’t know when to get off.

Kathy Chao was tired and hungry, but otherwise unharmed, when found Saturday, 22 hours after she disappeared, according to police Detective Joe Sledge.

Kathy, who speaks Laotian and very little English, told her parents she sat far in back of the bus and waited for the driver to call her name. But he never did.

″She said she looked everywhere for her bus stop, but she didn’t see it,″ said her father, Kao Nai Saechao. ″She said she was afraid to get off.″

The girl was found by two men who heard her crying inside a fenced bus yard after she jumped off the bus through a rear emergency door, said one of the men, contractor Chris Neary.

Kathy’s family celebrated her return Saturday with a Taoist religious feast.

Update hourly