Officers with Tyler Police Department and Tyler ISD responded to the school and surrounding neighborhood at 8:20 a.m., while other officers put a net around the city.
They knew they were looking for a silver Mercury with green plates with white or yellow lettering and the information was relayed to Smith County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office and police in Bullard, Whitehouse and Troup.
As officers continued to interview the teacher at Hogg and check the attendance records, the search was on for the car.
At 8:39 a.m. the radio crackled with a Tyler police motorcycle officer James Seeton saying he believed he found the vehicle with a New Mexico plate at Walmart on Troup Highway.
“I've talked to a woman here and she says they did just leave Hogg Middle School,” he radioed back.
Tyler police spokesman Don Martin said the teacher saw something she believed was out of place so she reported it to her principal, who in turn called police.
“The parents were trying to talk the girl back into the car to take her to get some medicine, because she has been sick. The initial information that the child was pushed into the car was inaccurate,” he said.
Martin said with the recent events in Newtown, Conn., everyone is extra cautious, but he said the response by police was one that would be matched in similar incidents.
Martin said as officers talked to the child's mother she thanked them for their quick response.
“She was extremely appreciative and happy that people actually care and was looking out for them,” he said. “She was glad at the response in this case and relieved to know that if something had happened to her child we would be out looking like we did.”