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Rutland toddler in DCF custody after wandering around town - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland toddler in DCF custody after wandering around town

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

Rutland parents were in court Monday explaining how their two year old could end up lost, walking city streets by himself for hours. The sight of a toddler wandering the streets alone Sunday alarmed a group of Rutland residents who couldn't find the boys parents. The two-year-old walked nearly half a mile from a park, up their street.  The residents say the only thing they could do was call the police.

Police say a two-year old Rutland boy -- wearing just a diaper and a baseball cap -- was able to separate from his parents and wander the streets of the city for more than three hours Sunday.

When a concerned resident picked up the crying toddler and called police, the blue-eyed, curly-haired boy was calling for his mom. "We walked out and there was a boy standing exactly where I am now. I went up to him slowly, bent down, picked him up and tried to calm him down cause he was crying," said Chris Mayhew, who found the toddler.

Mayhew said a group of his friends saw the boy wandering at a park earlier. Hours later the boy had followed a long path to end up all the way in front of Mayhew's house on Forrest Street. "I'm thinking a few hours he was probably by himself strolling the neighborhood," he said.

Rutland police took the boy and turned him over to The Vermont Department for Children and Families.  A judge ordered the child stay in temporary DCF custody.
 
"At the time of the initial complaint, we had not received any frantic calls from the parents that their two-year-old was missing," said Rutland Police Sgt. John Sly. "Approximately an hour later, the secondary district car did locate the parents, did confirm that they were missing their two year old son."

The parents had to explain at a Family Court hearing Monday how they lost their young son. "It was heartbreaking because I finally got him to calm down and when I put him into the police cruiser, he started to cry and pull at my shirt because he didn't want me to let him go," Mayhew said.

Police had no details about the results of the hearing.  A subsequent report from DCF will determine if the police investigate a case of neglect.  Unless police resume a criminal investigation, they cannot give more details on the status of the case because it involves a juvenile.

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