Eleven-year-old Alexis Waller of Bryant, Arkansas, is lucky to be alive after she stole $10,000 from her grandmother's sock drawer (dang, granny!) in the middle of the night to travel over 800 miles away to see a 16-year-old boy whom she met while on a family vacation in Jacksonville, Florida, two years ago.
Despite having kept in touch with her over the Internet, the boy claims he knew nothing about Alexis' plan.
After she snuck out, Alexis walked to a gas station down the block and then hitchhiked to Little Rock, Arkansas, which was about 30 minutes away. From there, she gave a cab driver $1,300 up front to take her to Jacksonville. The rest of the $2,500 fare was to be paid at the end of the cross-country road trip.
Apparently, the cab driver didn't think to ask the girl for any ID because she wore sweats "with a lot of makeup and she looked like she was 17 or 18," said Ellis Houston of Greater Little Rock Transportation Services, which operates the city's Yellow Cab service, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Oh, man! If parents didn't already consider barring their preteen's windows and locking them in their bedroom at night for safe keeping, they might now. This alarming story comes on the heels of a 6-foot-tall 10-year-old who lied about how old she was to date boys almost twice her age. Read all about that here.
When Alexis' grandmother, whom she was staying with at the time, went to wake her up for school a few hours later, she discovered that the child was gone along with a note that said she had run away to Montana and not Jacksonville, Sergeant Todd Crowson of the Bryant Police Department told People.
As soon as Alexis' parents found out she was missing, they contacted the police. Authorities were able to use cell phone records to track her down, with Georgia State Patrol stopping the cab near Atlanta.
It goes without saying that her parents were worried sick and angry. But while they took her cell and makeup, Alexis' dad, Brent, told KARK 4 News, "At the same time, you have the rest of her life to punish her. You just want to hug her and just love her because you got her back. That's what's important."
In case you were wondering, the cab driver was not charged nor did he lose his job. "Maybe he lacked a little bit of judgment," his superior stated. However, KARK 4 News reports that the Waller family will be pushing for the law to require cab drivers to ask for identification, especially when crossing state lines.