April Battle believes the hand of God guided her down Chapin Street Friday morning.
Because, as the 49-year-old drove south on the two-lane road, she noticed a little boy — barefoot and shivering — walking alone on the sidewalk.
Startled at the sight, she pulled over immediately.
"I ran to him because he had started walking toward the street," she said.
The boy's skin was ice-cold to the touch, she said. He said he was 4 years old, but he did not know where he lived.
His feet were "fire truck red" because they were so cold, Battle said, and he was wearing pajamas three times his size.
Meanwhile, another woman stopped to help as well, Battle said.
Battle and the other woman carried the boy to the Salvation Army, a few blocks south on Chapin Street.
They put him in warmer clothes, fed him and called police.
"We couldn't understand him because he was so scared," Battle said. "I think he got out, got lost, and tried to find his way back home. But how did a 4-year-old get outside like that?"
As a police officer was en route to the Salvation Army, the boy's mother, in the 900 block of Thomas Street, called 911 saying she could not find her son, police said.
She told police he must have gone out the door while she was sleeping.
Police transported the boy back to the residence and called Child Protective Services to the scene, according to a police report.
CPS is now investigating the case, police said.
Battle said the boy had a scratch above one eye and a cut lip.
While she was putting socks on him, she noticed he had bruises all over his legs, she said.
According to a police report, CPS has previous cases at the boy's residence.
It is not uncommon for CPS to take children from the home while they conduct investigations, police said, but in this case, they deemed it safe for the child to return.
Battle, meanwhile, has been praying daily for the boy.
She has made phone calls since Friday to South Bend police and CPS but no one has returned her calls, she said.
"God put me in the right place at the right time ... I just want to know if the child is all right, instead of sitting here on pins and needles wondering if he's OK," she said.