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'Miscommunication' blamed in case of 2-year-old found alone

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Jul 16th, 2013 @ 1:38pm


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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Police believe "horrible miscommunication" led to an unattended 2-year-old boy wandering near a busy street on Tuesday morning.

The boy was spotted walking on a grassy park strip along Fort Union Boulevard near 2100 East about 7:30 a.m. He did not have shoes. But was wearing a T-shirt with the words "My mommy loves me," and shorts. A motorist stopped to tend to the child and then called police. After four hours of searching, police had not found the parents and no one called to report a child missing.

The boy was in good condition and healthy when he was found, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Gary Young.

After local television stations aired the boy's story on noon newscasts, a family member called immediately.

Detectives learned the boy and his mother had apparently moved into a home about four houses away from where the toddler was found, just a month ago. They were living with another family.

Toddler found wandering in Centerville

Less than an hour after the mother of the Cottonwood Heights child was found, Centerville police announced they had also found a young unattended child, about 2 or 3 years old.

He was found walking alone near 400 West and 830 North wearing a blue basketball jersey and shorts.

The boy's parents were located about a half-hour later.

The mother started a new job Tuesday morning and had arranged for the other family to watch her son, Young said. She left the house about 7:30 a.m. to go to work without saying goodbye to anyone, he said. Her son got up almost immediately after her and also went out the door.

When the other family woke up and could not find the child, they assumed the mother had found another baby sitter or dropped the boy off with a relative, Young said.

Young said it appeared to be nothing more than poor communication and he did not expect potential criminal charges to be screened.


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