A Vista postal worker was honored with a hero pin by the National Association of Letter Carriers after she helped find a missing toddler and missing teen with Autism within a span of two weeks.
“I am the community. I am the eyes and ears,” said Chyanne Thomas, A Unites State Postal Service worker based in Vista.
In April, San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies showed Thomas a flyer of a missing 15-year-old girl with autism. An hour later, while on her route, she spotted a girl with no shoes and a long shirt.
“I immediately pull over and say, ‘Hey, excuse me, I need to speak to you. I need help. Can you help me find my mom?’ I just made up something to keep her interested with me,” said Thomas.
Thomas had the experience to keep the teen from running away.
“Before the post office, I had been working with children with disabilities and I loved that job,” said Thomas.
Two weeks later, it happened again --- this time, she spotted a missing 4-year-old girl.
“I said, where’s Mom? Where’s Dad? She couldn’t answer. But the first thing she did was run up to me and squeeze me and start crying. I knew something wasn’t right,“ said Thomas.
Thomas says she called police and stayed by the girl’s side until her parents came.
Along with the hero pin, Thomas was also featured in the "Postal Record," a national magazine dedicated to the postal service industry.
“What happens if I didn’t care? That could’ve been two kids on the back of the newspaper, have you seen me?,” said Thomas.
Thomas added, “I believe I was just at the right place at the right time, helping someone who needed help."