The distraught boy initially hung up but then called Hardy-Blackman back, and she patched him into a three-way call with her daughter, the boy’s mother, Janel Blackman. Nathaniel was trying to tell them where he was but had trouble pronouncing the name of a nearby store, so they asked him to spell it out. He said, “F-U-R-N-I-T-U-R-E “ and then the number 22. He also said they had just gone through a “tunnel,’’ which was actually a nearby highway overpass.
Hardy-Blackman went to a nearby firehouse and asked if they knew where a furniture store of that name might be, and once they told her, she quickly dialed 911 to tell them where to go while her daughter rushed over to the scene. It turned out Nathaniel and his father were in the parking lot of 22 Furniture Gallery on Route 22 in Hillside, N.J., near their home in Newark.
“My wheels were churning, and I didn't know what to think,’’ Blackman told TODAY.com. “I’m trying to put a mental picture in my brain of where Furniture 22 is. I jumped on the highway, and while I was going past Furniture 22, I saw my husband laid out in the parking lot. Minutes after I arrived on the scene, the ambulance came.”