UPDATE: 3-year-old found wandering Richmond street

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police now say that 3-year-old girl found this morning outside of her home in Richmond, was found on a neighbors porch. We've learned Child Protective Services, along with the Richmond Police are investigating right now.

We're told from police this all unfolded on the 3000 block of Carolina Avenue, around 4:45 Friday morning. We're told the child walked out the front door of her home without her mom knowing about it. The fire department was actually on another call nearby when they called police about the girl wandering alone.

Tonight- we don't know if the child is back with her parents, but we do know they aren't behind bars. The Department of Social Services reports not all investigations like this end with charges filed.

A scary time for people living in the Highland Park neighborhood, as word spreads about a 3-year-old girl wandering the streets and ending up on a neighbors porch.

Thomas Cox is part of the neighborhood watch here. "I think its ridiculous and someone should be held responsible for it."

That's exactly what police and Child Protective Services are working on now.

Police tell us early this morning, in the dark, the 3-year-old walked out the front door of her home, without her mother knowing. The fire department says they were actually on their way to another call on Carolina Avenue, when someone flagged them down and alerted them to the girl outside. It's these type of situations that Cox has been trying to avoid in his neighborhood.

"We have to continue to be more vigilant and go door to door and tell people to get more involved," says Cox.

That's advice that neighbor Esther Jones takes with her loved ones.

"I have 3 great-grandchildren and they want to play outside. And, I come out in the heat because they want to get out here and play," says Esther, all to keep her loved ones safe.

According to the State Department of Social Services- not all cases like this one end with charges filed. If through the investigation, it is clear that caretakers are genuinely shocked that the child was able to leave the home, and that they take appropriate action to keep it from happening again, charges won't be filed. If abuse or neglect is noted- CPS will hand the case over to the commonwealth's attorney for possible charges.

According to Richmond Social Services- the situation is still under investigation. Details into how long the three-year-old was walking alone. How far she walked or if her parents have been contacted are still uncertain and we don't know who has custody of the little girl right now.

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