Exclusive interview with the woman who saved two toddlers

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Mugshot of Julio Venage, 31. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Julio Venage, 31. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

A busy road not meant for kids to play near.

We told you last night someone called 911 when they saw two children running around Airport Pulling Rd. in east Naples, naked and covered in feces. Then, a woman and her daughter fearlessly jumped into action.

Just before the sun went down Saturday, Kelly Phelps and her daughter were closing out their day when they came across a sight they never thought they would see.

“As we pulled up to the stop sign, my daughter noticed two little kids running that were naked,” Kelly said. “Like I said, with feces all over them. There weren’t any other adults around. Or parents no one knew the children or who they belong to.”

Julio Venage’s arrest report shows he was supposed to be watching the two kids. Investigators said he told them he was looking at his email and told the kids to wait for their diapers to be changed.

While he said he was preoccupied, Kelly and her daughter, Taylor, had their hands full.

“The boy took off running toward airport,” Kelly said. “My daughter went running after. She gave the little girl to the neighbor. Went running after the little boy.”

Meanwhile, Kelly said she called 911 to report what happened.

“They had been out there for a while,” Kelly said. Ten more minutes it would’ve been dark. They could’ve gotten hit by vehicles. They could’ve been kidnapped numerous things.”

Kelly told WINK News, as a mother of two herself, she has not stopped thinking about what happened over the weekend. She said the kids were thankful for the help. After the boy changed into a new shirt and grabbed a refreshment, he walked over the Kelly with a broad smile.

“I just been thinking now every day, where are they?” Kelly said. They’re a brother and sister. They’re little. They can’t speak.”

Despite what she has been told, she does not consider herself to be a hero.

“Anytime that you see an opportunity to help, even if you’re late for this or something on your mind, you don’t know that person,” Kelly said. “Just help. Just do what you can. Even if it’s minute, that may be humongous to that person.”

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