This is the third time in three weeks the adventurous 3-year-old boy found his way out of his mother's apartment. He lives right behind the Target at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Lackman Road and, after the latest escape, is in protective custody.
On Sunday about 9:15 a.m. in Shawnee, KS, police responded to a call of a young boy walking alone in a Target's traffic-filled parking lot.
"I think that's horrible and tragic. It's really sad and devastating for me to hear that," shopper Gloria Hernandez said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Geralyn Kelly, who was shopping with her 3-year-old grandson.
"That makes me nervous, him being this close to where the traffic would be. But to wander out of an apartment, it concerns me for the child and his safety in that home," she said.
Police said the child's mother was nowhere to be found when they approached him.
"They went over to the boy's apartment, found no one at home, so we took that boy into police protective custody," said Maj. Bill Hisle.
Police had no problems finding the boy's address.
"Our officers unfortunately recognized this 3-year-old boy from a couple of previous incidents that were very similar to this," Hisle said.
He said the boy was found wandering alone in the parking lot of his apartment on July 15. Then, on July 29, he was found at the Target parking lot. In both cases his mother was found pretty quickly.
Sunday though, she called police about 3 p.m., six hours after her son went missing. A judge will now determine whether she gets her son back.
"Hopefully he's in better hands and won't be put back in those ones. Why should he be?" Hernandez asked.
Police said the mother admitted leaving the child unattended. She has not been arrested, which is why authorities haven't released her name. The case has been forwarded to the district attorney's office.
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