Mother charged after child wandered away from great grandmother's home

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department is investigating a case where officers found a four-year-old boy walking in the middle of the street with no supervision Thursday evening.

According to the police report, the boy's mother left him in the care of her sister, and the sister then left the child with his great grandmother.

At some point, the four year old left his great grandmother's home.

"When I was using the bathroom, he ran out the door. And when I went to go and look for him, he was gone. Already gone. I thought he was over at his aunt's house. I didn't know he was walking out there," great grandmother Early Hasley said.

Police charged the boy's mother with endangering the welfare of a minor, even though she left him in someone else's care.

According to the police report, police charged the mother because she did not leave the sister or great grandmother with any contact information or what she expected of them as caregivers in her absence.

Hasley said she agreed with police about charging her granddaughter.

"I guess. Yeah. I don't know nothing about it. They asked me why she didn't take him with her," Hasley said.

"Any time that you leave your child some where, they have to be able to contact you and they have to be able to know where the family member is. It's the parent's responsibility for the child," Sergeant Lyle Waterworth with JPD said.

"She got a phone, but I don't know her phone number, ma'am. I don't even know her phone number. I don't know it at all," Hasley said.

When police found the four year old several streets away from Hasley's home, Waterworth said he did not have any injuries.

"I didn't know about it until the police picked him up. It did make me worry a little bit," Hasley said.

Waterworth said a neighbor did the right thing by calling police and letting them know there was a small child walking around the neighborhood.

Waterworth said the department may also file charges against the great grandmother.

"The most important part of the whole situation is the child is safe. The child is being taken care of by the Department of Children and Family Services," Waterworth said.

Waterworth said the department is still investigating this case. He said the Department of Child and Family Services will also conduct its own investigation to determine who gets custody of the four year old.

His mother is set to appear in court Sept. 9.

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