South Bend missing girl found by off-duty officer seven miles from where she went missing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) Mariya Webb walked roughly seven miles after going missing Saturday morning.

16 News Now learned how she was found just in time later that night.

Mariya's mother Amy said hearing that her daughter went missing is something no parent wants to hear.

"It was just unbelievable. Hours were going by an it was getting closer to darkness and it was just so scary. Then we got the call that an off duty officer found her and we were just like 'Oh my gosh'," she said.

That officer was Ron Kaszas, who was also with his wife Sara.

They were simply on their way to get groceries when they spotted Mariya.

"We go, 'Oh my gosh, that was the girl. Report it.' We both just knew right away, whipped a u-turn, went back, and he talked to her. He told her he was an off duty police officer, said Sara Kaszac.

"I had to show her I had a police t-shirt on. I showed her my badge. She was a little nervous but she stayed there," said South Bend Police officer Ron Kaszac.

They both stood by Mariya's side while waiting for an on-duty officer to come meet them.

"When he showed me his badge I felt comfortable around him," Mariya said.

"To be off duty, you would think maybe he wouldn't even be thinking about work at that point and he was still thinking of her and we totally appreciate it," Amy said.

When Mariya first went missing, she was last seen near Colfax and Spruce near downtown south bend.

Officer Kaszas found her nearly seven miles from that spot.

" I had just got off. In fact I was on the initial call driving around the downtown area looking for her and I got sent to another call. The last I heard they hadn't found her yet," Ron said.

Little did he know he'd be the one to find Mariya, when he least expected it.

The Kaszacs and the Webbs have been in touch since Mariya returned home.

Amy says they hope to meet again so she can thank them in person.