The Main Stream

Jun 18, 2012 11:22 PM

Neighbors find toddler wandering on street

TUCSON - A toddler is found wandering in the middle of this hot day on the city's far southwest side. The boy was wearing just a diaper and black tennis shoes.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department says it received a call from a neighbor at 11:17 am, reporting a child found on West Avenida Luna. It was later learned, the child was being cared for by his grandmother who lived a block down.

Sheriff's deputies went door to door with the child asking if anyone knew him or his family. Juan Contreras says he saw the child and he heard the child tell deputies he was thirsty. Another neighbor clothed the child. Due to the extreme heat, deputies opted to take the child with them and turn him over to Child Protective Services.

Contreras and other neighbors also began searching for the child's family. Contreras says his cousin came over to their house and told them, "There's a woman outside on her cell phone walking around in pajamas looking for a child. She said I thought he was asleep."

Contreras' young son J.J. had just talked to a friend who was riding his bike looking for his nephew and knew the toddler they had seen earlier was his friend's relative. So J.J. went over to the next block over and told him the sheriff's department had the child. "I told them the deputies had taken the boy and turned him over to CPS and that he was ok."

Meanwhile, the child's mother showed up at the grandmother's house. She told News 4 she had been in the hospital and was just released. She says she didn't know why the child was out wandering. She was visibly upset and declined an on camera interview.

The sheriff's department says their investigation was completed and there was no criminal wrong doing. The boy had just slipped out of the house without anyone knowing it.

There are reports the child was eventually reunited with his mother.

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