Pittsburgh mother wants answers after 5-year-oldson dropped off at wrong stop, found wandering alone

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh mom Akieda McCullough is looking for answers after she says her 5-year-old son, Zymaj, was found wandering around a neighborhood for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon.

She says Pittsburgh Public Schools changed bus companies this week for the third time this school year, which led to the confusion.

“I’m beyond frustrated,” said McCullough. “I’m like furious.”

Zymaj takes the bus home with his older brother every day from King Pre-K-8th in North Side.

Just this week, the school district began using a new bus company, which meant a different route and a different driver for McCullough’s boys. When Zymaj’s older brother had to stay at school late, the 5-year-old was sent home alone.

“He doesn’t know where he lives. We just moved there not even a month ago, so he doesn’t know anything,” said McCullough.

McCullough says Zymaj got off at the wrong stop – blocks away from home – and was found by a good Samaritan.

“He had peed on himself, he was scared, he was lost,” explained McCullough.

During the hour she was driving around trying to find her son, McCullough says she filed a missing person’s report with police.

In a statement to Channel 11, the school district thanked the community for helping Zymaj get home safely. The district also says it sent home a letter to parents last week letting them know about the bus changes. McCullough says she never got that letter.

“The buses are messed up and they’re not telling us parents the proper things to make sure our babies are okay,” said McCullough.

She did not send her sons to school Wednesday and says she does not plan to until she feels certain they will make it home safely.