Deputies: Child found wandering along road in t-shirt, underwear - | WBTV Charlotte

Deputies: Child found wandering along road in t-shirt, underwear


Deputies in York County are investigating after a toddler was found wandering down the road, alone, in just a t-shirt and underwear on Sunday morning.

According to a York County Sheriff's report, deputies were called to Dam Road on Sunday morning around 10:38 the report of a young child, around two to three-years-old, running down the street without parental supervision.

A man who witnessed the incident stopped, picked up the child "who was dressed in a cotton tee shirt and underwear with no socks or shoes" and drove the child to a nearby church.

Deputies met the man at the church. They say the child was shy and would not initially speak with officers or anyone else at the church. The child did not appear to have to have any obvious signs of injury and seemed to be in good health, the deputies noted in their report.

While deputies were speaking with people on scene, they noticed a man nearly 75 to 100 yards away from the church. He was later identified as Paul Eugene Stafford, the child's father.

Stafford told deputies that he and his wife realized their child was missing approximately five-minutes before deputies arrived, which was 30 to 45 minutes after initial arrival at the church.

Deputies gained consent to search the Staffords' home. They reportedly found a piece of copper screening "used to smoke narcotics" on the table with burnt residue on it.

According to the report, Stafford stated that he hadn't smoked crack in 6 months and has not smoked Marijuana in 25 to 30 days. The couple reportedly admitted there was narcotic paraphernalia in their bedroom.

Deputies say they found an exorbitant amount of paraphernalia in the home. Deputies also found a glass cabinet door under an adult bed, which had a child's toy on it, and straight razor with powder residue on it.

An employee from the Department of Social Services was called to the scene.  The little boy, and his younger brother, were released into the custody of their maternal grandparents.

The Sheriff's officer says this case is considered open pending further investigation.

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