ROMAN FOREST, TX --A 4-year-old girl fell into Peach Creek right behind her family's Texas home Thursday evening and could have drowned if not for two quick-thinking 12-year-old boys.
"They saw the girl playing on the other side of the creek," Roman Forest Police Chief Stephen Carlisle said. "She tried to swing on a limb. She fell in the water and she looked like she was drowning. So one of the boys pulled her out of the water, and the other one assisted."
They ran for help and found Ricky Duke.
"I just pulled over here to text my wife and check in on her," Duke said. "I left some friends' house that live out here. A young man on a bicycle pulled up and asked me to call 911 and said they'd just pulled a little girl out of the creek."
Duke said he called those friends, who called the police and then rushed to the scene.
"We wrapped her up in some jackets that we had, and I just kind of held on to her and hugged her and told her everything's going to be fine," Lucia McCreight said. "That we were going to take care of her until we could find her parents."
Her parents were grateful.
"She's got autism, and we just found out about it," mom Melissa Maddox said. "She just likes to wander off and do her own thing sometimes."
Soon after Roman Forest police blasted her picture on social media, word got back to her parents. Maddox said the girl's name is Melodie and that she recently celebrated a birthday, and that she loves going into the backyard to play with her pet pig. But she's kept her in lately because of the cool temperatures.
"She's just been asking for days to go outside, and I guess she just slipped outside without saying anything after I left for work," she said.
Maddox said her husband was watching Melodie when she slipped out.
"We're always trying to stay on top of her," she said. "He's a really good dad. He's always making sure she's OK."
Melodie was taken to the Pediatric Emergency Center at Kingwood Medical Center and reunited with her mom and stepfather there.
Roman Forest police say they're not filing charges at this point, but that could change depending on Melodie's injuries.