Child Protective Services is investigating the circumstances that led to a 2-year-old boy wandering the sidewalk alone on National Road in Wheeling on Thursday.
Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball said a motorist spotted the child along the roadway in the 1100 block of National Road near Edgington Lane about 1 p.m. Thursday. The child "appeared to be in generally good health" but was wearing a dirty diaper. The child was found close to his home, Kimball noted.
"He was on the sidewalk close to the edge of the road," Kimball said.
Officers promptly brought the boy to police headquarters and called Child Protective Services. A circuit judge ratified Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby's order granting temporary custody of the child to CPS, which subsequently turned the boy over to his grandparents.
The Ohio County Prosecutor's Office advised police to wait until the outcome of the CPS investigation to make a decision regarding potential charges against the boy's parents.
The couple did not report their child missing to police until about one hour after he was spotted by the passing motorist.
The parents told officers they were asleep when the boy got outside, and they discovered he was gone after they woke.
"Two-year-olds are quick. ... Kids don't know any better - you can't blame them," Kimball noted. "The kid was OK. The weather was warm."
Staff Writer Shelley Hanson contributed to this report.