BRYANT, Ark. (PIX11) – An 11-year-old Arkansas girl on a mission pilfered $10,000 from her grandmother and called a cab — to go to Florida.
Like so many rash decisions that feel like destiny, young Alexis Waller figured it was the only way she could reunite with a boy she met while vacationing two years earlier. They had been communicating ever since, she told KARK.
So Waller gathered up the cash her grandmother kept in a sock drawer and quietly left their Bryant home after nightfall. Unsure where to go, she walked to a nearby gas station and convinced a stranger to take her to Little Rock.
When she got there, she called a taxi, and the driver didn’t ask many questions to the pre-teen girl hitching a 13-hour ride through three states.
“I said I need to go to Jacksonville, Florida,” Waller told the station. “He’s like, ‘Do you have money?’ and I’m like, ‘Yes.'”
Since she kept her bold plan secret, her parents thought the worst when the found her missing.
“I just thought some guy had come and scooped her up,” said Brent Waller, Alexis’ father. The frantic couple dialed 911 and hoped for the best as Bryant police began investigating.
After detectives pulled cell phone records, they were able to track down the cabbie who gave Waller a lift. He told them that she was in Georgia, near Atlanta.
“I’m actually glad I got found,” Waller said later. “I knew I made a mistake after a while and I didn’t have a phone.”
Her parents jumped in the car and drove through the night — nine hours to Georgia.
“You have the rest of your life to punish her. You just want to hug her and just love her because you got her back and that’s what’s important,” said Brent Waller.
Police told KARK that the cab driver broke no laws and will not be charged, but the Wallers say they will try to bring about legislation that would force cab drivers to ask identification when bringing minors across state lines.