A child inadvertently left at the roadside along I-80 Sunday was reunited with her family a few hours later. Sweetwater County Sheriff's Detective Dick Blust says that witnesses reported a 5-year-old girl being left at the roadside after a potty stop west of Green River Sunday evening.

Deputy Matt Bartolotta arrived and from the witnesses' description of the van and information from the child called in for Sweetwater County dispatch to try and locate the girl's parents.

Dispatch officers detective work:

"Bartolotta passed the information along to Communications Officers Tasha Urbatsch and Jeannete Lacey at the Sheriff’s Office communications center, and from there they first broadcast an alert on the van to law enforcement across the state. And with that done they began working the Internet and the phones with the information the little girl had provided and were able, ultimately, to come up with a cell phone number for the girl’s father."

The vehicle description did not include a license plate, which made finding the parents tricky, said Blust, and the van was already at Rawlins when the father got the call, and was pulled over at the same time. They drove back about 130 miles.

Parents didn't notice missing girl:

"Once he confirmed the parents’ identities and observed the little girl’s obvious joy at seeing them, Bartolotta turned her over to them. He felt was a very lucky thing the witnesses were there and hung on to her safely until the deputies were able to arrive."

Det. Blust said there were nearly 10 kids in the van along with the parents.