Charges filed against wandering tot's sitters

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ROY — Charges have been filed against three people police say did not know the 2-year-old they were tending had wandered off until hours after the child was found by a neighbor.

"They had no idea the child had gotten up, walked right out the door to the busy street," said Sgt. Shawn O'Malley with the Roy Police Department.

A neighbor found the little girl outside and alone about 6:40 a.m. June 2 near 1650 W. 4500 South. Police canvassed the neighborhood and used reverse 911 calls to try to find out who the girl belonged to, said Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham.

You cannot leave a child unattended for any amount of time. If they are up, you need to be up watching them, and that's the point in charging them with child abuse and child abandonment.

–Sgt. Shawn O'Malley

It wasn't until the girl's picture was broadcast over the news that the girl's grandmother recognized her and called police.

"We located who was supposed to be taking care of the child at almost 1 in the afternoon," Whinham said.

The little girl's mother had paid a relative the night before for overnight babysitting, Whinham said. When officers arrived at the house, no one there knew the child was missing. They told police they thought the girl was still asleep.

"They believed the child was apparently going to sleep until 11, and they didn't need to watch her," O'Malley said.

"We got consent to go in the house and look at the overall conditions this little girl had been in," the chief said. Officers found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the room of a 30-year-old occupant of the rented home. Two others, 40-year-old Greyson Watkins who babysitting arrangement was made with, and 18-year-old Alex Eatchel, are being charged with child abuse/abandonment for not keeping an eye on the little girl and allowing her to wander off and into potential danger.

David Bingham, the other person living in the house, is being charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

If convicted of the child abuse/abandonment misdemeanor charges, the Greyson and Eatchel could spend up to six months in jail. O'Malley says let this be a lesson to others.

"The point is, we want them and anyone else listing to understand that you cannot leave a child unattended for any amount of time," he said. "If they are up, you need to be up watching them, and that's the point in charging them with child abuse and child abandonment."

The Division of Family Services took care of the girl until she could be reunited with her mother. Whinham said the mom "was completely unaware" there had been a problem. "She was upset. She was scared. At the time that we were able to connect with her, the child was in a safe location with the Division of Family Services."

"This could have been far worse," Whinham said. "This is one where we hopefully might have identified some things that will help this girl and her mom be better off in the future."

Story written by Shara Park and Steve Fidel.

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