I Lost My Daughter At Sandy Point State Park

Sad woman sitting on stone wall with sea in the background, crying and covering her face.

Sandy Point State Park will always be a memorable place for our family. Not because of all the fun we had when we visited it for the first time; but because every mom’s worst nightmares happened to me while we were there. I lost my daughter!

Summer is almost over, and I wanted to take the kids one more time to the beach before it ends. A friend of mine told me about Sandy Point State Park and how it’s only around an hour drive from where we live. This 786-acre Maryland State Park is located along the Northwestern shore of the majestic Chesapeake Bay, where you can hang out by the beach or have a picnic with your family. Today, on my birthday weekend, we decided to check it out.

The day started with the kids being excited to go the beach. As soon as we arrived, my husband set up our tent and the kids played in the sand right away. We had lunch an hour after we arrived and went back into playing soon after we were done. After a couple of hours, my son started asking for snacks so we all went back to our tent to grab some. However, their hands were full of sand so I asked my husband to wash their hands. He took our daughter with him; while I stayed in the tent with our son preparing our snack. A few minutes later, my husband came back and asked “Where is Alex?”. I answered back “I thought she was with you?”

He didn’t say anything, he just walked back and tried to find her. That’s when I started to panic. I quickly got out of our tent, called her name and tried to find her in the crowded beach. Thoughts quickly flooded my mind as to where she could be; it was absolutely terrifying. Then the lifeguard started talking to me and asked about what my daughter was wearing. I couldn’t believe that was happening to me because I always made sure that I paid attention to my kids especially when we were out in a public place. As I was answering her questions, I kept screaming my daughter’s name while looking around for her. I was hoping that she’d hear me and find her way back to me. Then the couple who were hanging out in the beach near us told me they saw my daughter and pointed to my left.

I turned around and there she was. My daughter was held by a lady; finally, I can breathe! The lady asked me if she’s my daughter. I said yes, and thanked her multiple times. With everything happening so quickly, I couldn’t think properly. I didn’t get her name, and I wasn’t even able to ask her where she found my daughter. I hugged my daughter as tight as I could and gave her tons of kisses. We went back to the tent and told her not to do that again while tears were starting to form in my eyes.

Later on, my husband told me that she told my daughter to go back to our tent after he washed her hands. He turned around for a few seconds and saw that she was gone. And that was when he came back to our tent looking for my daughter.

We both know it was a huge mistake on his part for thinking that a 3-year-old would find her way back to me alone. But to be fair with him, earlier today, while they were playing in the water and I was in our tent watching them, she would go back and forth between me and him. So I guess he got confident that she’ll be able to do it alone. However, later that afternoon, a couple of ladies hung out in front of us, blocking my daughter’s view of our tent from the shore. And that was why she kept walking because she couldn’t see me.

On our way home, my daughter was her usual self, always driving me crazy and testing her boundaries. But for the first time in 3 years, I felt beyond blessed having my patience tested because that meant I still have her with me.

Tonight, as I put her to bed after we got home, I started thinking she could have easily ended up in someone else’s home and not in ours. And I could be laying in my bed all alone without her, crying myself to sleep. I cringed with just the thought of it.

This day could have ended differently. But we are so blessed that we found my daughter. I owe my life to the lady who gave me my daughter back. Even though I didn’t get her name, I am forever grateful to her. I hope she gets to read this in the future. And I am beyond thankful to God for giving me my daughter back unharmed.

This post wasn’t written to blame anyone. I just wanted to share our story in the hopes that it would serve as a reminder to all parents that bad things could happen to our precious little ones in just a blink of an eye. Let’s all be present with our kids and always keep an eye on them especially when we’re out in public.

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Have you ever lost your kid in a crowded place? I did and I was so terrified! Find out what happened. #travelwithkids #motherhoodchallenges #lifelessons #momlife #familytrips #familytravel #lifewithkids #parenting #motherhood

What did you think of this post? I truly hope you haven’t experienced this. If you did, I am absolutely sorry and I hope you were able to find your precious little one. Let me know your thoughts about this. You know I always love to hear from you.

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Kisses, Belle - blog post signature


  1. Lindsay Satmary
    August 27, 2017 / 1:41 AM

    Wow, that is SOOO scary! So glad you found her and she was unharmed. This is my worst fear.

  2. August 27, 2017 / 9:56 AM

    I can imagine that gut wrenching feel of panic! I’m so glad that you found her quickly. Sorry this happened to you on a fun family day out.

  3. Meredith
    August 27, 2017 / 11:34 AM

    OMG I can’t even imagine, I’m so so sorry!!! But I’m so glad you found her and all is ok!!! Doesn’t change the feelings you have for sure, omg!

  4. Shadowing Enoch
    August 27, 2017 / 3:56 PM

    Oh my, my heart sank for you while reading this, and yes this (similar) happened to me years ago when my kids were young. One incident still brings that queasy feeling whenever it comes to my memory, and I still thank God for things being ok. His protection was over my daughter. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerableness in sharing this one. It happens to all of us!

    • September 8, 2017 / 2:44 PM

      Thank you! I am so sorry you had to experience that! I know how terrifying it is.

  5. Kristie Cirak
    August 27, 2017 / 8:27 PM

    Oh gosh it’s my worst nightmare especially at a busy park !!! Heart attacks all round for us when we haven’t found our son in 30 seconds lol it’s always been fine but boy we worry

    • September 8, 2017 / 2:45 PM

      Yes, I guess we can’t really take away the part where we get so crazy worrying about them.

  6. thesophiadiaries
    August 28, 2017 / 7:22 AM

    I’m so glad everything worked out well! i’m sure the scare was hard. I’m sorry you had to go through something as painful as that 🙁 I feel like I would’ve yelled at my husband for doing that 🙁

  7. Kelly Bandas
    August 28, 2017 / 7:32 AM

    How terrifying for you! I have made the mistake of thinking my 3-year-old could get form point-A to point-B without help. They suddenly seem so “grown up” at 3, but dang, I need to remember that they are still little!!! SO glad you found her and everything is A-ok 🙂

  8. Sarah Jean
    August 28, 2017 / 9:33 AM

    Oh how scary!! I’ve been to that beach a few times and while it’s very family friend, can’t imagine what that must have felt like! I am glad this had a happy ending.

  9. Julie Shenton Peters
    August 28, 2017 / 9:56 AM

    Every parent’s worst nightmare. But I would bet that most parents experience that sort of panic at least once or twice in their child’s life. It happened to me! Best thing you can do is learn from it and take precautions so that it doesn’t happen again. (And it sounds like you did!)

    • September 8, 2017 / 2:57 PM

      That is so true! You know what they say about learning the hard way right?

  10. August 28, 2017 / 11:08 AM

    Every parents worst nightmare! I am so glad you found her, unharmed! A great post to remind parents to be careful.

  11. Ayana Pitterson
    August 28, 2017 / 12:46 PM

    Urgh.. the nightmare that I have every time we go out in a group with the kids. I am very happy this had a happy ending because I honestly don’t even know what to say in a situation where a parent’s child goes missing.

    Thrifting Diva

  12. August 28, 2017 / 1:16 PM

    Bless your heart! I’m so glad to hear everything turned out well,but I can only imagine how scary of a feeling that was. Definitely a great reminder to always take extra precautions.

  13. Kathleen Brown
    August 28, 2017 / 1:18 PM

    I can completely understand how horrifying an experience this must have been. When my son was 5 a similar thing happened. You never forget the fear that you experience. Thank God he is okay.

  14. Babies to Bookworms
    August 28, 2017 / 2:20 PM

    Wow, I can’t imagine how terrified you were! I am always worried when my daughter and I are out of the house because she loves to be friendly and talk to everyone. I am so glad your daughter was found by the right person, who could get her safely back to you!

  15. August 28, 2017 / 4:43 PM

    What a scary situation! I think all moms encounter losing their child at some point. I’m dreading the day I have my own children and it occurs! I remember when we lost my sister at a hotel/water park resort I was a little girl, and even that was terrifying. Everything turned out okay, thank goodness.

    • September 8, 2017 / 2:59 PM

      It truly was a terrifying experience. I hope you never have to experience that.

  16. Victoria Sharp
    August 28, 2017 / 6:13 PM

    Oh my goodness! What a scary situation. That truly is every mother’s worst nightmare. I’m so thankful that that lady was able to find you in return your daughter safely. We live on the Eastern shore of Maryland about 20 minutes once you get off the bay bridge. We pass Sandy Point State Park when we visit the western shore and I always wonder how they fit so many people On the beach! It’s nice to find another Maryland blogger. Maybe we can connect online or even in person one day!

    • September 8, 2017 / 3:00 PM

      It was our first time there and then that happened. I probably won’t plan another trip there next year. LOL! We live in VA though but close to MD. Of course, we should absolutely connect online and even in person. I would love that!

  17. August 28, 2017 / 6:56 PM

    As a kid, I got lost in the forest once trying to find my way back to our car. Luckily it didn’t take too long to find the trail I was supposed to take. But it was scary! Glad you were able to find your daughter!

  18. Jenny Cranford
    August 28, 2017 / 7:01 PM

    How terrifying! I’m so glad she was found safely!

  19. Laila Laurson
    August 28, 2017 / 7:13 PM

    I have been lucky enough in my son’s eight years of life to not have to go through something like this. I honestly am not even sure what I would do if I was ever in a situation like this one and I pray that I never have to find out. I am so happy that you found her and everything was ok. I wish you and your family the best.

  20. August 28, 2017 / 7:50 PM

    I had a really hard time reading this post as my son had disappeared at Disneyland years and years ago. It took us about 30 minutes to find him.

    • September 8, 2017 / 3:01 PM

      Oh my! That must have been really hard and terrifying! I am so glad that you were able to find him.

  21. Emily
    August 28, 2017 / 8:41 PM

    Ugh…every parent’s worst nightmare. I’m so glad you found her!

  22. Shell
    August 28, 2017 / 11:54 PM

    I can only imagine how terrifying this must have been…. I’m so glad she was quickly found!

  23. jillconyers
    August 29, 2017 / 3:32 AM

    A nightmare for any parents. Just the thought of losing your child makes your heart hurt.

  24. Patricia Conte
    August 29, 2017 / 10:38 AM

    I can’t even imagine – just terrifying. I’m so glad she found her way back to you!

  25. Ashley
    August 29, 2017 / 9:03 PM

    Such a scary experience!! So glad she made her way back to you safely!!!!

  26. August 29, 2017 / 11:16 PM

    Oh my, I would feel the same way as you. I am so glad she was found safe a sound by a good samaritan!

  27. Victoria Moore
    August 30, 2017 / 1:42 AM

    Oh my gosh, how scary!! I would have died :'( It does happen though, you’re not alone <3

    • September 8, 2017 / 3:10 PM

      I think I’ve heard that a lot after they found out what happened. But I guess it doesn’t take away the trauma that you feel once your child goes missing.

  28. September 8, 2017 / 2:58 PM

    Lol! It truly is traumatizing! I feel like it stays for a while with the parents though.

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