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Girl Left Behind on Vacation Trip by Parents Driving Separate Cars

December 7, 1992

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Phil Whitesell was reminded of the movie ″Home Alone″ when a little girl approached him at a fast-food restaurant in Sparta.

″Can you please help me?″ 12-year-old Amber Allred asked him. ″My family left me.″

Whitesell alerted restaurant workers, who then called police.

The girl’s parents, Owen and Tere Allred of Boonesboro, Md., had stopped to have lunch with their eight children in the western North Carolina town before continuing their vacation travels.

Family members ate and then packed themselves back into their two cars. Each parent drove a car. Each thought Amber was in the other vehicle.

Not until they stopped for gas 40 miles down the road did they realize Amber was missing.

Sparta police Detective Wayne Crouse said the couple called authorities and returned immediately to pick up Amber in the small town about 130 miles north of Charlotte.

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