Toddler found wandering Evansville streets
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Just before noon on Wednesday, police were alerted to a toddler that was wandering along Garvin Street near Michigan Street.
Concerned neighbors found the child walking around, chasing a ball all by himself.
It’s an extremely busy area, and neighbors tell 14 News that it’s no place for a toddler to be walking alone.
According to the police report, officers knocked on the doors of 20 homes in the area trying to find a parent but were unsuccessful.
Officials say that Child Protective Services took custody of the child, but we spoke with the first person to come across the child.
Mark Cole says he sat with the child for nearly an hour, playing on a nearby porch alongside an officer until CPS officials arrived.
Cole says he owns property in the area and was doing work on one of his cars when he noticed the child walking by himself.
He says the child had a ball in his hands and was moving pretty quickly. Cole says he watched him for a second, looking for parents or adults nearby, and when he showed signs of potentially walking into Garvin Street, Cole stepped in.
“I just pulled up on the side of the road and I said, ‘Hey, what you doing little buddy?’ says Cole, “and I sat there and talked to him a little bit. He was timid, but then I got out and said something about his ball, and we started throwing the ball back and forth, and I chased it down the sidewalk. I was looking around and nobody showed up, nobody showed up.”
Cole says much of the neighborhood came out to not only see what was going on, but to assist in any way they could.
He says one woman even changed the child’s diaper for him.
With the child’s young age, he wasn’t able to provide any information to police or concerned residents about where he lived or where his guardians were.
Cole says the only words he would say was “daddy.”
Police say the child’s guardian was found at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday when she called 911 to report a missing child.
They say DCS will be referring her to family court, but police aren’t charging her.
Police say she works nights and was sleeping when the child left.
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