Police make grim discovery after good Samaritan finds small child playing by herself at playground

OGDEN, Utah — A man on his way to play a pickup basketball game led police to a grim discovery and may have saved a little girl.

It all started when Marcus King answered the call from a 4-year-old child. She was playing at a playground after 6 p.m. Wednesday, KTSU reported. King said the little girl was in the snow, the sun had set and temperatures were near freezing. King said she didn't have shoes or a jacket and there was no adult around.

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He took the child to a nearby community center, where workers reached out to police.

After about three hours, police found out where the child lived.

"When they walked over there, the door was wide open. And the way the little girl was explaining it was: Her mom wasn't paying attention, and her mom was on the floor sleeping," King explained to KSTU.

Police said they found the child's mother dead, but they don't believe it was foul play. They told KSTU that the mother had pre-existing medical conditions.

Police said the mother died about 24 hours before the little girl left the apartment and went to the playground.

Officials placed the child with the Division of Child and Family Services as they look family members who could take care of her.

King said he was happy to help her.

"This is not a good part of Ogden. There's a lot of weirdos around here, and I'm really, really fortunate and happy that I got to her and nobody else did," King told KSTU.