14 News alert helps reunite missing boy with family - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

14 News alert helps reunite missing boy with family

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A three-year-old Henderson boy is back home with his family after being found alone and naked in a stranger's yard.

Police did not know who the boy belonged to, and searched for about 45-minutes in the Young Street area before a family member who saw our 14 News alert recognized the child and called 911.

When police were trying to figure out who he belonged to, they wanted as many people as possible to see our post on Facebook, which had about 1,500 shares in 45-minutes -- a true testament to the power of social media.

Around 8:00 on Thursday morning, Natasha McKinney got an unusual wake up call -- Henderson Police at her doorstep.

"When we came out there was a small boy sitting on our playset," says Natasha. "He did not have any clothes on and he was not able to tell us where he lived."

Natasha, a mother of two herself, had no idea who the boy was, but says he seemed content to keep playing in her front yard completely naked.

"He's just wanting to go down the slide," says Natasha. "He just wants to get up and go down."

While Natasha took care of the little guy, feeding him breakfast and finding him clothes, Officer Jennifer Richmond started sharing his picture with local media not long after.

"She saw it on her channel 14 News app," says Officer Richmond.

Richmond says a family member recognized the three-year-old on a 14 News alert and we were there as an officer carried the miniature escapee back home, just across the street from Natasha's playset.

Police say the boys mom was at work and his dad, who works nights, was asleep. While the adult who was supposed to be watching him overslept, he got out the door.

The whole thing was an accident, they say, nothing more.

"People sleep in, children can get up," says Richmond. "I'm a parent it's very easy for them to get out a door, even with locks and everything. Children are pretty Evil Knievel sometimes."

Natasha was pleased that the young daredevil didn't make it any farther.

"I'm glad he's okay, I'm glad he didn't get hit by a car or anything and I'm glad someone was out and saw him and was able to call him in before he got sun burnt or something else happened to him," says Natasha.

No criminal charges are being filed and the boy's father says he feels terrible about what happened and will be buying alarms for the doors immediately. 

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