Lilburn Police Department released a report today regarding the case of a toddler found meandering in the parking lot of the Lawrenceville Highway Kroger on Nov. 6.
According to the report, the incident type was that of cruelty to children -- a felony.
About 4:30 p.m., a Good Samaritan saw the child -- wearing a Spider Man T-shirt and a diaper -- when she was driving around the back of the Kroger, according to a Lilburn Police report.
She stopped, looked around for parents, and then when she realized there weren't any around, she took the child into the nearby Legacy Station hobby store to warm up. It is unknown from the report how long the child may have been outside in the cold.
Police were called, and they arrived shortly after. Officials found no visible injuries on the youngster, so the search for the parents began.
They were not in any of the nearby businesses. Eventually, police turned to the woods behind the Kroger.
About 600 feet away, the officer located a home at the 4100 block of Johns Street with the front door wide open. After about five minutes of yelling to see if anyone was home, finally a man approached from inside.
By then, it was about 5 p.m.
According to the report, the officer asked if the man has any children, and he responded that he did. When the officer asked for the man to locate the child, the man could not. The home owner described his 2-year-old son as wearing a Spider Man T-shirt and a diaper.
Police informed the man that his son had been located and was inside the Legacy Station.
Who was supposed to be watching the toddler?
The father told police that his nine-year-old daughter was supposed to be keeping an eye on him. She also was at the residence.
Gwinnett County Police Department also were called to the scene because the home is located in the county. However, when that officer arrived his superiors "declined to adopt the case."
Lilburn Police obtained written statements from the father and the Good Samaritan. The child was turned over to his parent.
After several failed attempts at contacting the Division of Family and Children Services (DFACS), finally on Nov. 14 another Lilburn officer was able to get them on the phone.
Police explained the case to DFACS, in case it wanted to conduct and investigation, and that it was uncertain whether Gwinnett Police would be doing the same.
The case -- which very well could have landed the parent(s) in jail with a felony cruelty to children charge -- was deemed "unfounded" by local police.
-- Should the case be investigated further? Should the parent(s) of the child be cited for cruelty of children? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. --