Toddler found walking alone

Mother: Child climbed out of crib, left home

A toddler was found wandering a New Palestine neighborhood, unattended, on Tuesday afternoon, sending rescuers on a search for her parents that spread quickly over social media.

Neighbors called 911 around 4 p.m. Tuesday after spotting the girl, age 1 and a half, walking alone in the 5100 block of Bluebell Drive in the Gem Meadows subdivision, investigators said. Sugar Creek Township firefighters posted the little girl’s picture on Facebook with a plea for information, while officers began canvasing the area where she was found.

Investigators located the child’s parents about an hour later by knocking on doors in the neighborhood, police said. The girl’s mother, who didn’t realize her daughter was gone, said the child must have wandered from their home after being put down for a nap, investigators said.

Detectives were still working to collect information from the child’s parents at press time.

Passers-by called 911 after seeing the child alone in the subdivision near the intersection of county roads 500W and 100S, said Hancock County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Rasche.

Police searched the area briefly, hoping to find the girl’s family out looking for her, Rasche said. When they were unsuccessful, the Indiana Department of Child Services was called and took custody of the girl while officers continued their investigation, he said

The child’s mother told officers she fell asleep on the couch after putting the little girl down for a nap, police said. Somehow, the little girl climbed out of her crib and walked out of the home, her mother told investigators.

Rasche said he believes the incident was an accident; the case remains under investigation.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.