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2 Young Children Found Wandering Alone In South Philadelphia Reunited With Parents

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By Pat Loeb, Steve Beck, Jericka Duncan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A South Philadelphia family was reunited this morning after the family’s two young children were found wandering alone around 5:45 a.m. near Broad Street and Passyunk Avenue.

Surveillance video shows the 4-year-old boy and his two year-old sister walking along Passyunk Avenue when Samantha Velykis takes them into the Pretzel Factory, where she works.

Velykis spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News about what went through her head when she saw those children and why she responded the way she did.

“What if someone harmed them,” she explained.

Police say the children, a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl, were examined at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and found to be healthy and unharmed.

They were then taken to the police department’s special victims unit, where police say they took pictures of the children. They then went door to door asking people if anyone knew anything.

Christina Russo says when police came to the day care where she works at 16th and Passyunk, she led police straight to the children’s home where they found the children’s mother, who hadn’t yet realized they were missing.

“I recognize them because they’re my neighbors. I don’t know much about the family. They keep to themselves,” said Russo.

Police say the mother had been tending to an infant all night and had just fallen asleep about the time the children left the house. It’s not clear how they got out.

The parents were reunited with their 2 and 4-year-olds at Special Victim’s Unit. The children seemed happy, jumping in joy; one even waved at the camera.

It was an ending parents dream of when their children go missing. Luckily these children were found within blocks of where they live.

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