YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown police found a 3-year-old boy wandering near the corner of Indianola and Hunter avenues Tuesday morning.
Patrolman Jeff Kay and his partner discovered the boy shortly after 9 a.m. in his bare feet and wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
The officers began scouring the neighborhood, trying to get the child to show them where he lived. They even offered him some candy.
“I still had some in my bag, so I gave him some Twizzlers to see if he would maybe talk to me,” Kay said. “He was very scared, very confused, didn’t know where he was or what was going on due to his age.”
When he wasn’t able to show them where he lived, officers searched the area to see if anyone recognized him. Neighbors soon realized that the boy was lost, and came over to Kay’s cruiser.
“I knew he had to be one of the neighborhood kids,” Ernie Rotan said. “I always try to look out for the little kids in the neighborhood.”
Rotan and his family led officers to a house on Taft Avenue a couple of blocks away. When the boy’s grandmother saw him, she yelled that she thought the child was with his father who had left earlier while others were sleeping.
Paramedics and Children’s Services investigators arrived to check on the boy and his family.
Police are relieved this story had a happy ending.
“People came out from everywhere, drove in their own cars to look around to see if they could find where the child was,” Kay said. “I want to thank the neighborhood for their efforts in locating this kid, which, ultimately, the neighborhood was who helped us find the house here.”
The Children’s Services Board will be looking into the home’s conditions and investigating how the boy managed to slip away unnoticed.