Wandering toddler leads to mother's arrest on unrelated charge

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A close call for a Chesterfield toddler, found wandering alone Monday morning near a busy roadway.

The boy was discovered near Meadowdale Boulevard, which runs through the Regency Lake Apartments. Not long after, the boy's mother was placed in handcuffs. So far, the charge is unrelated to the wandering child, but police say that case is still developing.

In handcuffs, this woman walked out of the leasing office into the back of a county police car. Police wanted to know why -just hours earlier- her two year old son was found wandering near this busy boulevard, where Reggie Hicks lives.

"I think it's awful. Two year olds shouldn't be out here by theyself anyway," Hicks said, after reporters told him about the news.

It was just after 9:00 a.m. Somebody found the boy, all alone, and told the office, which told police. For the next hour, several officers went knocking door-to-door, and they eventually were pointed to a two-story unit where the boy lives with his mother and grandmother.

Police say there was a miscommunication behind that door.

"As to who was supposed to be caring for the child. And it appeared the child simply wandered out of the residence," said Lt. Jeff Parlier.

Grandma led police to the boy's mother, who returned to the neighborhood for some lengthy questioning.

"I do know that we've had situations similar to this in the past. I don't think it happens too often. When it does, it's usually resolved pretty quickly," Parlier said.

This one, however, had a unique twist. Police say, it turns out, the mother was wanted on an outstanding warrant that they would not discuss. Child Protective Services then took the boy, and gave him to another relative unhurt.

"My kids know. They stay in one area. Three boys, so they all stay together. But don't go out of view of the parents, pretty much. They're smart," Hicks said.

Police would not release the mother's name, or tell us what she's been charged with. The grandmother would not open the door to talk to us.

Chesterfield police say they must still consult with the commonwealth's attorney before deciding if there will be any charges related to the wandering child.

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