Taylorsville • Strangers who saw online reports about a missing 9-year-old girl spotted her walking about six hours after she was reported missing and brought her safely to police Thursday night.

Zayaah Caldwell’s mother reported her missing after she didn’t return from Fremont Elementary School, 4249 S. Atherton Drive, which let out about 3:20 p.m. About 9:30 p.m., she was found less than a mile away, at 4800 South and 1100 West, by some people who had seen information about her disappearance online. 

It was not immediately clear where Zayaah had been or what she was doing during that time.

When the girl showed up, her teacher Lisa Minson ran to hug her. Minson said Zayaah is a student who enjoys chatting and reading. Minson had been informed that the girl was missing about an hour after school let out, when Zayaah’s sister and a parent came to school to look for her.

The girl’s mother told police she normally comes straight home after school, according to Unified police Lt. Brian Lohrke, and has never done anything like this before.

Jenny Wood, a woman who attends church with Zayaah’s family, got a call from the girl’s mother asking for her help. She, along with other friends, neighbors and police, formed search parties that went door to door with posters of the girl’s picture on it.

Lohrke said police were focusing on contacting the girl’s classmates and any sex offenders in the area.

“Everyone is just trying to take a deep breath, gather some info right now, give her a hug, get her back to where she needs to be,” Lohrke said after the girl was found.