Erica Dent had a difficult time saying goodbye to her son Friday at school because for terrifying moments Thursday afternoon, when she had no idea where he was.
"I was a nervous wreck because the first thing I'm thinking is, he's dead," Dent said.
Dent said Thursday her mother came to Keystone Elementary in Raleigh to pick up her grandson from the aftercare program, but no one could find him.
Just as her mom was getting ready to go look for him a police officer showed up and said someone had found a child.
"No telling what could have happened," she said. "Someone needs to tell me how did a five-year-old leave this school."
Dent said her son told her that he heard some kids talking about walking home and he left with a third grader. He made it about a half mile away and crossed busy New Allen Road.
"That's crazy he made it across there with God knows who."
Dent says her son came in contact with a woman and two men and got turned around. She says eventually a teen and his father came to his rescue.
"He went into the house and got his dad and said this kid was with one lady and she left him, and now two men have him . He came out and said, 'Can I have him, I've already called police.'"
Dent said school administrators initially told her they didn't know who was to blame, but now say they plan to implement a new system to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
Dent say someone was definitely watching out for her son, because he made it home.